Medical Debt

Budget Deal Reached!

The Legislature and the Governor have reached a budget deal! The Budget Conference Committee convened on Thursday night to take final action on budget issues in Conference Committee, which is described below. See how health priorities fared in our budget scorecard. The revised budget includes several limited but important investments in health and human services, […] Read More

Key Patient Protections Pass Legislature, Now On Governor’s Desk

With the California Legislature adjourning after midnight last Saturday, most of the action on priority bills for health consumers moves to the Governor’s desk. Most of the Heath Access-sponsored bills protecting consumers from unfair out-of-pocket costs are now one Governor’s signature away from enactment. There were disappointments in the final days of this year’s legislative […] Read More

End of Session Recap: Legislation to Stop Surprise Medical Bills Stalls in California Assembly; Other Key Patient Protection Measures Advance to Governor’s Desk

The California Assembly adjourned Saturday morning without passing legislation to prevent patients from facing surprise out-of-network bills after they get care in in-networks hospitals or other facilities. AB533 (Bonta), sponsored by Health Access California, would have held consumers harmless for surprise bills reflecting out-of-network charges that were outside of their control (See separate AB533 fact sheet). A broad coalition […] Read More

New national attention on hospital debt collection practices..

About a week ago, the New York Times broke a major story on the issue of hospital billings and collections. It’s an issue we’ve done a lot of work on, leading to the passage of the Hospital Fair Pricing Act in 2006, and educating pa   tients about the consumer protections in California law through our website, http://www.hospitalbillhelp.org/. […] Read More

Hospital bills hit the uninsured hard…

A new report released today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shows that few families without health insurance have the financial assets to pay potential hospital bills. On average, uninsured families can only afford to pay in full for approximately 12-percent of hospital stays they may experience – and even higher […] Read More

Blue Cross puts the squeeze on docs

Tuesday’s hearing of the Assembly Health Committee gave a glimpse into the ways Anthem Blue Cross not only squeezes consumers, but providers as well. We’ve all heard by now that Anthem Blue Cross of California has in its hip pocket a double-digit premium hike to whip out for individual-policy holders come May 1. And that […] Read More

New accountability for so-called discount health plans: Key hearing in Oakland on Monday!

HEALTH ACCESS UPDATEFriday, February 19, 2010 DMHC PROPOSES REGULATION ON SO-CALLED “DISCOUNT HEALTH PLANS”* CA Department of Managed Health Care cracks down on wild west of unlicensed products* Discount health plans are not health insurance, but some pay premiums thinking they are.* Many provide less benefit than a pizza coupon: illusory discounts with phantom providers* […] Read More

Medical bankruptcies are rising….

Even as reform makes its way through Congress, medical bankruptcies — a term hardly known 20 years ago — appear to be on the rise, says the New York Times. Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

Speaking truth to the power of insurers…

It’s heart-wrenching to see the long scars, some still deep red, crisscrossing the scalp of 19-year-old Penelope DeMeerleer, who has half a head of thick blond hair and the other half practically mapping out her medical history of 44 brain surgeries. But don’t feel sorry for Penelope. That’s not what she’s after today at Tuesday’s […] Read More