Thomson Bill Would Allow ‘Medically Uninsurable’ to Get Coverage through CalPERS
A bill (AB 1147) sponsored by Assembly member Helen Thomson (D-Davis) would extend health insurance under CalPERS to about 18,000 people considered uninsurable because of pre-existing health conditions, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports (AP/Sacramento Bee, 3/5). According to a release from Thomson's office, current law allows private insurers to deny individuals coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Nearly 300,000 Californians are considered "medically uninsurable" by insurers. Individuals who have been rejected by private insurers can receive coverage through the state's Major Risk Medical Insurance Program, but MRMIP only covers about 18,000 individuals and has a waiting list of 5,657 people. Thomson's bill would allow the 18,000 people covered by MRMIP to "buy in" to CalPERS, spreading the risk among a larger pool. Thomson said, "I believe everyone ought to have the right to purchase insurance protection, regardless of their health condition, if they are willing to pay for it. This proposal will ensure that no Californian who needs health coverage and is willing to pay for it will be turned down" (Thomson release, 3/1). CalPERS spokesperson Brad Pacheco said the public employees' health system has not yet analyzed the legislation (AP/Sacramento Bee, 3/5).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.