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Holding Health Insurers Accountable

News Release
7/27/2015
Posted by Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA – Consumers should review new health insurance policies closely for “hidden premiums,” including narrow provider networks, high deductibles and climbing cost-sharing that can result in major unexpected medical bills, Consumer Watchdog said today. Health insurance rates released by Covered California today...
News Story
7/25/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
In a mega-deal that alarms some health policy experts and consumer advocates worried about increasing industry consolidation and the prospect of higher premiums, health insurance giant Anthem has agreed to acquire rival Cigna for $54 billion.     The agreement announced Friday would create the health insurance industry's biggest...
News Story
7/24/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Two new health insurers are poised to join California's market for Obamacare coverage — industry giant UnitedHealth and a New York start-up named Oscar. Many consumers may welcome the new choices starting next year and the prospect that increased competition helps hold down premiums. The lack of more health plans to choose from has been...
News Story
7/6/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
The California Franchise Tax Board had a lot to say about Blue Shield in its 16-page report following its audit of the third-largest health insurer in the state last year, but none of it was nice. The said audit led to Blue Shield losing its state tax exemption, the LA Times has learned. Moreover, the LA Times also reports that the said...
News Release
6/23/2015
Posted by Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA – Covered California has successfully lobbied the federal government to delay public disclosure of qualified health plan rate change proposals for 2016, Consumer Watchdog said today. In a letter to Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, Consumer Watchdog said that residents of every other state now have access...
News Story
6/23/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
SACRAMENTO -- As millions of Americans nervously await the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on a key provision of the health care law -- whether or not federal subsidies are legal in 34 states that don't run their own insurance exchanges -- California's newly insured can breathe a bit easier. Even if the court rules in favor of the...
News Story
6/16/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
A searing review of Medi-Cal managed care provider directories released Tuesday by the California State Auditor found numerous inaccuracies ranging from incorrect phone numbers of doctors to listings of providers who no longer were participating in the health plans. Telephone calls from thousands of frustrated consumers also have gone unanswered...
News Story
6/6/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Health insurance giant Blue Shield of California is facing more questions over its loss of tax-exempt status as it tries to win state approval of a $1.2-billion acquisition. A former Blue Shield executive is accusing the San Francisco insurer of giving contradictory answers to state officials about its corporate structure. And consumer advocates...
News Story
6/5/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
A single dose of the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam — the generic version of Ativan — will run you about 14 cents at Safeway or Target. At Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, the same pill goes for nearly $2,000. At least that's the impression Laurie Leigh came away with after being so overcome with grief when her 90-year-old...
News Release
6/2/2015
Posted by Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA -- A Kaiser Family Foundation survey showing that 44 percent of Covered California policyholders have difficulty paying health insurance premiums is yet more evidence that California needs health insurance rate regulation, Consumer Watchdog said today. In addition to cost hardships for those currently insured, more than 40 percent...