Rate hikes facing real people…

Next Tuesday, the Assembly Health Committee will consider AB52(Feuer), a measure to allow state regulators to deny unjustified and unreasonable health insurance rate hikes.

To understand why this is needed, we need to hear the millions of Californians who have experienced rate hike after rate hike over the last several years. One such consumer is Maggie Duncan-Merrell, an Anthem Blue Cross policyholder, who faced significant increases for herself, her husband, and her 8-year old daughter. (She is pictured here with the chair of the Assembly Health Committee, Assemblyman Bill Monning.)

She testified recently at a state legislative hearing on the rising cost of health care. Here’s her story:

We are currently paying Blue Cross $950 per month for 2 very healthy adults and one equally healthy 8-year old. My husband’s company supplements his premium or we’d be paying $1400/month. Beginning in September our premium is skyrocketing to $1400 even with the supplement from his company. We can no longer afford this policy, which isn’t even good coverage. It offers limited care with a $500 deductible per person and a $30 co-pay for each visit. I would like to go to the doctor for physical, mammogram and pap smear exams, however, since I would have to pay out of pocket for these routine visits, I have not gone. We are now forced to switch to a cheaper plan with even less coverage, which is going to cost $1020 per month. We are going broke paying for terrible insurance. We had our rates raised by $200 only 6 months ago and 6 months before that and on and on. If rates keep going up at this rate, we may need to drop coverage, because we’ve got a house payment and our income is not increasing at the same rate. Our family needs rate regulation and I hope you will support it.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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