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Holding Health Insurers Accountable

News Release
1/22/2016
Posted by Carmen Balber
Sacramento, CA -- Consumer Watchdog will challenge executives at a Department of Insurance hearing into the proposed Centene/Health Net merger to commit to strong consumer protections as conditions of a merger approval.   The Department of Insurance has broad authority to set conditions on the merger deal.   “The history of health...
News Story
1/21/2016
Posted by Mark Reback
California's four largest health plans may be on the hook for $10 billion in state back taxes -- and at least $1 billion every year going forward -- if a closely watched legal case does not break their way.     Should that happen, insurance industry critics say, it would end one of the biggest tax code abuses in state history...
News Story
1/11/2016
Posted by Mark Reback
California is becoming a battleground state in the fight over health insurance mega-mergers. Consumer advocates are putting pressure on regulators in California and a dozen other key states to scrutinize the deals amid concerns that consumers will be left with fewer choices and higher costs. There's a lot at stake for families and employers if...
News Story
1/11/2016
Posted by Mark Reback
Consumer advocates are urging California regulators to closely scrutinize proposed mergers between some of the nation's largest health insurers, the Los Angeles Times reports (Terhune, Los Angeles Times, 1/11). Background In July 2015, Anthem announced that it agreed to acquire Cigna for $48.4 billion. The combined company would have about 53...
News Release
1/11/2016
Posted by Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA — Consumer Watchdog today urged the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) to use its authority over the proposed Aetna-Humana merger to enforce a binding agreement that the combined company will not implement any rate hikes that are deemed unreasonable by regulators. In a letter to DMHC, Consumer Watchdog wrote that Aetna...
News Release
1/5/2016
Posted by Jamie Court
Santa Monica, CA – A Kaiser Family Foundation/New York Times survey showing that one-in-five working-age Americans ran into serious financial difficulties trying to pay medical bills despite being insured is yet more evidence that California needs health insurance rate regulation, Consumer Watchdog said today. In the survey, 62% of those who...
News Story
12/21/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Consumer advocates are urging the Department of Managed Health Care to "use its full authority to impose comprehensive requirements to protect consumers before allowing the merger between Centene and Health Net to move forward." Consumer Watchdog sent a letter to the regulator last week, detailing several safeguards the group would...
News Story
12/17/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
A coalition of nine consumer advocacy and union groups are urging Florida regulators to think twice about approving big health mergers they say will reduce competition and consumer choice and could lead to higher premiums in counties including Palm Beach. For example, combining Aetna and Humana “would give the combined entity over half of...
News Release
12/16/2015
Posted by Laura Antonini
Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog warned consumers shopping for health plans or thinking about switching plans of five significant challenges to quality care.  Consumers are currently in the process of enrolling in new health coverage or switching plans for 2016. Consumer Watchdog offered tips to help avoid these consumer pitfalls...
News Release
12/14/2015
Posted by Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA — Consumer Watchdog today urged the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) to use its full authority over the proposed Centene/Health Net merger to enact safeguards to ensure plans are not cancelled, benefits are not reduced and consumers do not bear the cost of the merger. In a letter to DMHC, Consumer Watchdog wrote that...