Health Insurers Propose Their Own Cancellation Plan
Under scrutiny for the way they cancel policies, California health insurers are scrambling to come up with their own set of rules before others beat them to it.
California health plans are lobbying for legislation that would establish independent panels to review policy cancellations and protect them from lawsuits. The proposed third-party review system would be similar to the process in place now to review disputes over denied medical services.
America's Health Insurance Plans, an insurance industry group, is stumping for the new third-party plan, lobbying nationally and in California.
Consumer groups and health access advocates argue a review system like the one used in medical disputes would favor the insurance industry by limiting individuals' legal recourse.
A recent spate of fines and penalties against California health insurers for improperly canceling individual health insurance policies has attracted national attention to the issue and the state.
The early framework of a potential statewide proposition and at least half a dozen bills in the state Legislature propose new and different ways to regulate health insurance in California. The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is drafting a sweeping ballot initiative that would overhaul the way HMOs operate in California.
Bills pending in Sacramento would tighten or establish regulations governing HMOs in several areas, including cancellation of policies, awarding of bonuses based on number of policies canceled and the amount of premium payments used for medical care.
But health insurance cancellations aren't the only thing on lawmakers minds -- here's a look at how some other legislation is faring.