With daylight savings time upon us and most of the state experiencing near-record snowpack levels, there’s one other forecast we can expect like any other season, and that’s the beginning of a new state legislative session!
Building off another successful year of historic health consumer wins, Health Access is advancing a robust 2023 health reform agenda to get us ever closer to the goal of a quality, affordable and equitable health care system for ALL Californians.
Check out this year’s campaign priorities:
Last year, the Health4All Coalition won the 10 year fight to remove exclusions for all income eligible undocumented Californians in Medi-Cal by January 1st, 2024. This January, Governor Newsom committed to this advancement in his January budget announcement despite what appears to be a challenging fiscal year for the state.
Continuing our work to ensure coverage for all Californians, we are setting our sights to ensure undocumented Californians can also access health coverage in Covered California through AB 4 (Arambula).
MAKING COVERED CALIFORNIA MORE AFFORDABLE
Those who purchase care through Covered California still find the cost of care out of reach with high deductibles and co-pays for medical services. AB 1208 (Schiavo) would significantly reduce and even eliminate many of these cost barriers for most Covered California enrollees.
PROTECTING CA PATIENTS FROM HARMFUL HEALTH CARE MERGERS
In health care, bigger isn’t always better. Health systems are getting larger, but our care is getting more expensive and harder to access. Many times, hospital mergers result in essential services getting cut if they’re deemed unprofitable or against religious doctrine, while costs often increase due to a lack of lower competition.
This year, Health Access launches the Protect CA Patients campaign to support AB 1091 (Wood); putting the needs of patients and the community first by improving oversight of these harmful mergers.
ENDING SURPRISE AMBULANCE BILLS
When you or a loved one have an emergency, you should not hesitate to call 911 because you are afraid of the ambulance bill.
Health Access is sponsoring AB 716 (Boerner Horvath) to prevent consumers from continuing to be charged out-of-network surprise bills for ground ambulance services and protect uninsured Californians from being charged inflated ambulance rates.
ENSURING ACCURATE PROVIDER INFORMATION
Have you ever shopped around for a new doctor and realized all the providers in your area are out of network or no longer open to new patients?
Health Access is sponsoring AB 236 (Holden) to address this challenge make sure that when you are using a provider directory, the information is actually correct.
MAKING PRESCRIPTION DRUGS MORE AFFORDABLE
For many who pay out of pocket for their prescriptions, January 1st was a time where deductibles reset, and folks were subject to paying the full price for their prescriptions. Thankfully for Californians, a 2015 law capped out of pocket monthly payments at $250 per prescription, per month, and protected consumers from discrimination based on their health condition.
Health Access is working to make these cost-savings protections permanent with AB 948 (Berman).
Additionally, for those who use insulin, Health Access is fighting for SB 90 (Weiner), which will prohibit health insurers and plans from imposing a deductibles that consumers must meet to access their co-pay, and cap co-pays for insulin monthly prescriptions at $35 to align with the federal co-pay cap for Medicare, which passed in last year’s federal Inflation Reduction Act.
2023 is shaping up to be another impactful year for health care reform in California, but we can’t do it without you. If you have been or are currently impacted by any of these issues – or other health care cost or coverage problems – please share your story with us.