California bill designed to promote affordable medical insurance fails « Health Insurance Advisory

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California bill designed to promote affordable medical insurance fails

Author: Pete S - Sr. Staff Writer | Sep 02 2011 | California, New Healthcare Law

After months of effort, a bill allowing the Department of Insurance to regulate premiums for California medical insurance plans for millions of consumers has ended in the Legislature. The purpose of this bill was to promote affordable medical insurance. There were not enough votes for AB52 in the state Senate, as the measure faced tremendous opposition from medical plans and groups representing hospitals, doctors and the state’s public employees retirement system, among others.

This is the fourth year that Democratic lawmakers have failed to win support for oversight of rates charged by health insurers for medical insurance plans. Opponents argued that the bill would create a costly new state bureaucracy. Healthcare providers also said they feared that artificially low cost medical insurance would lead to reduced payments for their services, resulting in less access to doctors and medical specialists.

“AB52 hit a major roadblock because it’s flawed,” said Patrick Johnston, president of the California Assn. of Health Plans. “It failed to address the underlying pressures that drive up the cost of coverage.”

Supporters said that stopping the measure now means bad news for cash-strapped individuals, families and the self employed struggling to pay for medical insurance. One advocacy group, Consumer Watchdog in Santa Monica, has announced plans to seek a state ballot measure next year that would roll back rates for medical insurance plans and toughen state oversight.

“Californians are paying way too much for medical insurance because health insurers are unaccountable in this state,” said Doug Heller, the group’s executive director. “It just shows the level of influence health insurance companies have in Sacramento.”

Are you searching for an affordable medical insurance plan in California? Get instant low cost medical insurance quotes from leading medical insurance companies in California. It is free. You can even apply online too. At, we also feature individual dental insurance and a wide range of other health insurance plans, such as short term medical insurancecritical illness protection and medical insurance overseas travel. We can help you save money and ensure you and your family is adequately protected. Get started today!

- Los Angeles Times

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