September 8, 2010
California lawmakers last month rejected a bill that would have subjected health insurance companies to the same kind of regulation that auto insurers now face, requiring them to get prior approval from the state when they want to raise their rates. But Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger probably would have vetoed that bill anyway. Instead, the Legislature sent the governor two bills that seek to strengthen the state's oversight of the industry while stopping short of direct rate regulation. It will be interesting to see if these more modest bills, which are still opposed by the insurance industry, escape Schwarzenegger's veto pen in the weeks ahead.
August 30, 2010
The Assembly on Monday approved legislation to toughen oversight of health insurance rate hikes but the Senate has rejected, at least for now, a measure to require state approval before companies can increase their premiums.
July 12, 2010
The managed health care industry is pushing back against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal for more transparency and state oversight -- but not regulation -- of the premiums insurance companies charge their customers.
July 7, 2010
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has opposed regulating the rates charged by health insurance companies, has submitted a proposal to the federal government for a state program to review and publicize rate increases before they go into effect.
June 2, 2010
The state Assembly has passed legislation that would allow the state government to regulate health insurance rates for the first time, requiring insurers to seek and obtain prior approval before increasing premiums paid by consumers.
March 11, 2010
Anthem Blue Cross has been under scrutiny for its recent rate hikes. But that scrutiny should go beyond the rate hikes to their overall business practices—and the broken health system that rewards bad behavior. The company has perfected a business model based on collecting premiums from the healthy and avoiding as much as possible actually providing coverage to those who are sick.
March 10, 2010
A bipartisan majority on an Assembly committee that oversees the state bureaucracy is turning up the heat on California's insurance and health plan regulators to explain what they've done to help people who have been kicked off their insurance coverage after filing claims. The members of the Assembly committee on Accountability and Administrative Review also want the departments to do more to make sure that a recent drop in the number of coverage rescissions is not temporary.
February 15, 2010
State regulators, including Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, are hyping their deal with Anthem Blue Cross to postpone a big planned health insurance rate increase until at least May 1. But the rule that will govern whether that rate hike can ultimately go into effect is probably not very well suited to controlling health care costs.
January 20, 2010
After eight years of study, California's HMO Czar has finally adopted regs designed to push doctors to answer their phones and see patients on a timely basis. Sounds good, but how will that work in practice?