The California Report: Covered California Questions Health Insurance Initiative

Covered California executive director Peter Lee, seen here at a November, 2013, press conference. (Max Whittaker/Getty Images)

Ahead of its board meeting Thursday, Covered California officials are raising questions — literally — about a November ballot initiative that some say could destabilize the state’s health insurance marketplace.

If approved by voters the Insurance Rate Public Justification and Accountability Act would give California’s insurance commissioner the authority to reject excessive health insurance premium increases. While this idea likely sounds good to consumers, there are concerns that such authority could destabilize Covered California.

On Wednesday, Covered California released an outline of more than three dozen questions it will analyze. Among the many unknowns: a rate challenge could mean open enrollment would start without finalized premiums.

In Covered California’s “Potential Operational Questions Outline” are references to the “tightly choreographed sequence” the agency must follow to meet the open enrollment deadline. “Under the current timelines, there is very little flexibility in the event there are major delays” — delays presumably referring to challenges to rate increases.

Betsy Imholz is with Consumers Union in San Francisco. She noted that Consumers Union generally supports the kind of rate review proposed in the ballot initiative, but said the group has not yet taken a position on the California initiative.

Continue reading here: http://blogs.kqed.org/stateofhealth/2014/06/19/covered-california-questions-health-insurance-initiative/

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  • LAAAC is managed by St. Barnabas Senior Services; Funded, in part, by Archstone Foundation.
  • St. Barnabas Senior Services

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