Quick Update – Assembly Health Committee – 7/2/13

Today, the Assembly Committee on Health, chaired by Assemblymember Dr. Richard Pan, met and took up a handful of bills that Health Access is supporting.

SB161 (Hernandez) which would regulate the sale of “stop-loss” coverage to small employers passed out of committee with a vote of 16-3. Health Access testified in support that SB 161 (Hernandez) would provide the “strongest protections in the nation of the small group insurance market.” Much (but not all) of the opposition was removed when amendments were taken than set the “attachment point” for stop-loss coverage at $35,000. Groups who testified in support included not just consumer groups but also insurers like Blue Shield of California and Kaiser Permanente, and labor groups like the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees.  

SB746 (Leno) would provide aggregate rate information for large employer health insurance and would also require integrated health plans like Kaiser to disclose information similar to what is disclosed by other health plans. It passed out of committee with a vote of 12-6. Senator Leno highlighted his previous bill, SB 1163 (Leno) from 2010 which required health plans and health insurers to provide specified rate information for individual and small group plans and emphasized that within two years of implementation, SB 1163 (Leno) has saved consumers over $300 million. Supporters, including labor and consumer groups, argues that similar transparency would be beneficial in the large group market.

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