Covered California

Covered CA Has Insurance Companies Covered, Not Consumers

Covered California’s announced 13% rate hike for health insurance rates in 2017 is going to hit consumers hard.  It’s a double whammy since California policyholders have suffered from some of the narrowest networks of doctors and hospitals in the country, allegedly as the price paid for modest premium hikes the last couple of years. Now Californians have fewer choices of doctors – less than 25% of an area’s docs in most plans – and higher premiums: the worst of all worlds.

Covered California Abuses No-Bid Contract Policy

Covered California views transparency as an obstacle to be overcome and no-bid contracts as a perk to abuse. That's the lesson to be learned after an audit released Tuesday by the state auditor that questioned a broad policy that allowed the use of no-bid contracts at the health exchange, which contracted $198 million worth of bids, out of $989 million in total, for these type of sole-bid contracts during a three-period of time. 

Capitol Watchdog: Upcoming Meetings to Watch

A Joint hearing will be held about the transportation sharing economy, a topic that has struggled getting approval from committee chair Sen. Ben Hueso. The Fair Political Practices Commission will be getting an update about California legislation now being considered that could affect transparency, including changes to advertisement disclosure, lobbying procurement contracts and disclosure of contributions deadlines.

Find those details and more below: 

Capitol Watchdog: Upcoming Meetings to Watch

A Medical Board task force (it's called Patient Notification, when it really should be Physician Probation Notification) will be discussing possible protocols for notifying patients about doctors on probation.

Alarming Study Should Push CA Lawmakers to Get Serious About Rate Regulation

Since 2012, health insurance companies have imposed more than $300 million in rate hikes deemed by the California regulators to be excessive and unjustified. In addition to these actual higher premiums, shrinking physician networks, fewer benefits, increasing out-of-network charges and soaring deductibles have become the hidden premium hike for health insurance that an increasing number of consumers simply can't afford. 
 

Capitol Watchdog: Meetings to Watch This Week

In this week's meeting, from Nov. 16 - 20, the state's insurance department will be hearing a dispute over a rate increase by State Farm that Consumer Watchdog believes is unfair and overcharging customers by more than $200 million. In addition, the Public Utilities Commission was expected to decide if the Southern California Edison should be financially penalized over alleged improper communications tied to the San Onofre Nuclear power plant decommissioning. 

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