Health Care Bills on Governor’s Desk Drawing Close Scrutiny
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is considering three bills that would have significant implications for the individual health insurance market, sparking a wave of lobbying from consumer advocates and health insurance industry officials, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The bills are:
- AB 2 by Assembly member Hector De La Torre (D-South Gate) would require health insurers to prove to a review panel that health plan members "willfully" lied about their medical histories before coverage could be rescinded.Â De La Torre said he reworked the bill this year to address concerns about lawsuits the governor cited when he vetoed a similar measure last year. Nonetheless, insurers maintain that the measure would encourage fraud and prompt more lawsuits.
- AB 98 also by De La Torre would require health insurance plans to cover maternity services. Federal law requires employer-sponsored plans that cover more than 15 people to include maternity services, and five states have enacted similar requirements. A California analysis indicates that the measure would expand coverage of maternity services to 207,000 women between ages 19 and 44. The analysis indicates that the bill would cause monthly health insurance premiums to increase by $7.
- AB 119 by Assembly member Dave Jones (D-Sacramento) would prohibit health insurers from charging different premiums based on gender. Federal law already prohibits so-called "gender rating" in group health plans, and 10 states also have banned the practice.
None of the three bills received Republican support in the Legislature (Ferriss, Sacramento Bee, 9/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.