Insurance

Brown Ends 2015 With a Whimper: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Landmark bills protecting digital privacy, greening energy use in the state, reining in health insurance abuses and expanding voter registration were among the good proposals signed by Gov. Jerry Brown as the 2015 legislative year drew to a close. Yet, in a year Californians called for bold, progressive action on gas prices, toxics regulation and ratepayer protection against back room dealings with regulated utilities, centrist saddling and tepid reforms dull the shine of those wins for the public. 

Waiting for Governor Jerry Brown to Sign Bills Protecting Californians

The crowded hallways outside of the Legislature's chambers may now be empty but that doesn't mean the fervent lobbying to kill pending legislation is over. 

With more than 600 bills sitting at the governor's desk, we are keeping an eye on bills that protect privacy, healthcare, elections, consumer rights and the environment. Below are some of the bills we are watching:  

Blue Shield Targets Profit Over Public Good, Tax Board Says

Blue Shield of California's $4 billion reserves and an executive mandate to increase profits are some of the reasons the California Franchise Tax Board gave in a June 2014 audit that revoked the insurance company's tax-exempt status. 
 

Covered California Transparency Stops at Rate Hike Proposals

Despite a health exchange deadline last week, Covered California has opted to keep proposed rates hikes secret. As part of federal requirements, state health exchanges must post all "proposed rates increases" on their websites.
 

Regulators Mum on Blue Shield’s Revocation

Nearly a year after a state agency revoked Blue Shield’s tax exemption, the public still doesn’t know why the health insurance giant can no longer avoid state taxes and whether it has abused its past tax subsidies.  

Policyholders Struggle to Pay Covered California Premiums

A Kaiser Family Foundation survey showing that 44 percent of Covered California policyholders have difficulty paying health insurance premiums is yet more evidence that California needs health insurance rate regulation. 

In addition to cost hardships for those currently insured, more than 40 percent of uninsured adults said they don’t have insurance because of the high cost of coverage, the report added.

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