Ideas for Verifying Health Insurance Coverage on the Table
Advisers to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Tuesday presented health care stakeholders with a proposal to tap into state and private databases to locate residents without health insurance, an approach that also could be used to enforce penalties against people without insurance, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Representatives from insurers, hospitals, physicians, business organizations and consumer advocacy groups were present at the meeting.
Schwarzenegger said the proposed system could be modeled after a system the Department of Motor Vehicles uses to track drivers without car insurance and a state system that tracks residents who do not pay child support.
Under the plan, residents who lacked coverage for at least 60 days would be located through state or private databases. The Schwarzenegger administration said that the proposal is intended initially to notify uninsured residents that they must have insurance and help identify insurance options.
Residents who fail to obtain coverage after being notified would be subject to involuntary measures.
Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Kim Belshé said the tracking system "represents one approach to enforcement," but she added that "nothing is set in stone."
Other proposals under consideration would attach the wages of residents who do not purchase insurance and increase the amount that uninsured residents owe in state income taxes.
Some stakeholders at the meeting said they oppose penalties for people who do not have health insurance (Rau, Los Angeles Times, 4/11).