Vote Expected on Out-of-Pocket Expense Limits
The Assembly is expected this week to vote on legislation (AB 2281) that would limit the amount high-deductible health insurance plans could require people to pay out-of-pocket for medical treatment and hospitalization, the Modesto Bee reports.
The bill, by Assembly member Wilma Chan (D-Oakland), would place annual limits on deductibles, copayments and coinsurance costs. Out-of-pocket expenses would be capped at $5,250 for an individual and $10,500 for a family annually.
The bill also would require the Department of Insurance and Department of Managed Health Care to provide information to help consumers compare health plans.
Supporters of the bill, including Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi (D), say that high-deductible health plan policyholders sometimes do not understand limits on coverage and that those limits are not always clearly stated by the plans.
However, Tyler Mason, a spokesperson for the insurer PacifiCare, said he is concerned that government restrictions could affect efforts to offer catastrophic coverage to young, healthy adults (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 5/31).
KPBS' "KPBS News" on Tuesday reported on the upcoming Assembly vote on the bill. The segment includes comments from Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access (Goldberg, "KPBS News," KPBS, 5/30). The complete transcript of the segment is available online. The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.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.