Governor Newsom Signs Key Bill to Address Health Care Costs and Transparency Amid Pandemic

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Anthony Wright, Executive Director, Health Access California,, 916-870-4782

Yvonne Vasquez, Communications Associate,, 916-407-7078


  • AB 2118 (Kalra) signed to require rate reporting in individual & small-group health insurance markets, to track trends and better understand the rates and benefits of the health plans Californians are purchasing.
  • Adds to other efforts to address health care costs, from a Health Care Cost Transparency Database, to the new effort to contract to directly manufacture generic drugs.

SACRAMENTO—Today, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a key bill to lower costs and improve transparency in the health care system for California consumers. AB 2118 (Kalra), sponsored by Health Access California institutes rate reporting in individual & small-group markets, similar to what is already required in the large group health insurance market. This new rate reporting will add to the rate review that state regulators already undertake.

“Our state regulators currently lack information on the types of health coverage Californians are purchasing and the costs for the 4.4 million Californians in the individual and small group health insurance markets,”  said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition. “Collecting this rate reporting data would give policy makers and advocates more insight into the types of coverage Californians have, trends in premiums, and how to improve our health system as a whole-particularly as more people change their coverage during this pandemic.”

This bill adds to the work done this year to increase transparency on health care especially on costs and prices. Earlier this year, a budget trailer bill established a new Health Care Cost Transparency Database within the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD). This new database will collect and streamline health information related to health care costs, quality, and equity from available data sources. The data collected would be used to inform policy decisions related to improving health care quality, reducing disparities, and health care costs while preserving consumer privacy. Another bill that addresses health care costs is  SB 852 (Pan) to create a California prescription drug label which will bring into contract to directly manufacture generic drugs.

“During this COVID-19 crisis, Californians have never been so focused on the capacity of our health system, and its sustainability and affordability. With these actions, California patients and policymakers are getting more tools and oversight on our health system to help lower costs for consumers in this rapidly changing health care landscape.”concluded Wright.