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The effort for quality, affordable health care for all has a rich history. Health Access is proud to host these comprehensive electronic archives of key campaigns and moments.

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pdf Thin Protections High-Deductible Plans Provide Little Comfort

As part of an overall health reform package, some California policymakers are promoting, even mandating that all Californians have – at a minimum – health plans with high deductibles and high out-of-pocket costs. Proponents believe that this health coverage, as expensive as it is to use, at the very least can keep people from losing their assets or even filing for bankruptcy. Such high-cost high-deductible plans have been popularized and promoted by the Bush Administration, which is attempting to make the plans more attractive by offering individuals a way to set aside money away, tax free, in Health Savings Accounts. Such accounts are only allowed if a person buys a highdeductible health plan.

pdf Controlling Health Care Costs

Health insurance can be much cheaper if it does not pay for health care -- taking the health out of health insurance! Real solutions are about cost-effective care, not about shifting costs and risks to the consumer. Phony Solutions: Taking the Health out of Health Insurance The first question to ask in debating cost containment in health care is: affordability for whom? Will it provide better access to more affordable care? Phony solutions bring down the sticker price of health insurance by shifting more costs or more risk to consumers, including high-deductible plans and Health Savings Accounts, bare-bones and skeleton health plans, restrictions on the ability to get care, and the removal or pre-emption of consumer protections and mandates on insurers.

pdf Policy Brief Oversight of Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans

Policy Brief Oversight of Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans

pdf AB 2911 (Nunez-Perata) Prescription Drug Discounts

AB2911 would provide a drug discount card to about 5.4 million uninsured low and moderate income Californians, who now pay among the highest prices in the world for their needed medications. AB2911 is a compromise of the dueling prescription drug initiatives Propositions 78 and 79 last year. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he would sign the bill. The bill is supported by dozens of consumer advocacy groups.

pdf Behind the Push for High-Deductible Plans

What is high deductible health plan? A high-deductible health plan is one that requires single enrollees to spend between $1,050 and $5,100 on health care (families must spend between $2,100 and $10,200) before insurance benefits kick in. What is a Health Savings Account? A Health Savings Account (HSA) allows consumers to save and invest pre-tax dollars that can later be withdrawn to pay medical expenses, such as co-payments and deductibles. Like other savings accounts, if the money isn’t used in a year, it can be rolled over and continue to compound and accrue. To open one, however, a consumer must be enrolled in a qualified high-deductible plan.

pdf SB840 (Kuehl) The California Health Insurance Reliabilty Act

SB 840 (Kuehl), the California Health Insurance Reliability Act, (CHIRA), would provide fiscally sound, affordable health insurance coverage to all Californians, provide every Californian the right to choose his or her own physician and control health cost inflation. Reliable Coverage: Eligibility is based on residency, instead of on employment or income. Under CHIRA, all residents are covered. No California resident will ever again lose his or her health insurance because of unaffordable insurance premiums, or because he or she changes or loses a job, or goes to or graduates from college or has a pre-existing medical condition.

pdf Give Us A Sign Hospital Overcharging Report

For California consumers facing hospital bills of thousands of dollars, especially those with no insurance or with high deductibles, the old Jack Benny line is no joke. Hospitals here and across the country routinely charge self-pay patients consumers three or four times what insurance companies and government programs pay for the exact same treatments. In many cases, these bills send patients and their families to collections, to court, and to bankruptcy. After several years of news stories and legislative efforts, California hospitals adopted “voluntary guidelines” in February 2004 on their billing and collections practices for uninsured patients. In late August and early September, volunteers fanned out across California to determine how hospitals treat the uninsured financially, and to measure compliance with key, measurable elements of those guidelines. This paper reports on the results of that survey.

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Our Mission

Founded in 1987, Health Access is the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition advocating for quality, affordable health care for all Californians. Our agenda includes:

  • Expanding Coverage: Implementing and improving upon health reform.
  • Fighting for a Fair Budget for the Future: Protecting public investments to preserve access to care.
  • Protecting Consumers: Ensuring consumer representation and protection.

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