Beyond Guaranteed Issue

Today in California, consumers trying to buy coverage on the “individual market” face major barriers, of availability, affordability, and administrative hassle. It is the least efficient, most expensive way to get coverage. Yet Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s health reform proposal includes an “individual mandate,” requiring even those without employer-based or public program coverage to buy coverage as an individual. The Governor’s proposal acknowledges that such a mandate to buy coverage in the individual market could not be implemented in the current California market. Most notably, insurers are currently allowed to deny coverage to consumers because of “preexisting conditions.”

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