California is a leader in expanding access to health insurance coverage: California’s health insurance Exchange, Covered California, saw 1.4 million people enrolled for the 2014 plan year, and the expansion of Medi-Cal covered 2.7 million Californians. Since 2013, the state’s uninsured rate has been cut in half, from 22% to 11%. Consumers Union’s West Coast office is deeply involved in the successful implementation of healthcare reform in California, through participation in stakeholder advisory committees, legislative and administrative advocacy, public education, and research and policy development on emerging issues such as network adequacy, provider directories, fair premium payment policies, and alternative benefit design.
In addition, our California Safe Patient Network brings to together thousands of activists and CU advocates to improve the safety of California hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, and doctors through policy change.
Resources for California consumers
Factsheets with information about enrolling in Covered California:
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Enrolling in Covered California
- Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum: How to Choose the Right Level of Coverage
- Is My Doctor in a Covered California Plan? Why “Networks” Matter
- Covered California Cost-Sharing: Understanding Copayments, Coinsurance, and Deductibles
- Financial Assistance from Covered California
- Reporting Your Income to Covered California
Find more resources here.
Advocacy: Covered California, Medi-Cal, and other regulators
Consumers Union advocates for consumer-friendly policy decisions with various California government agencies and programs, including Covered California (the state’s health insurance Exchange), the Department of Managed Healthcare, and the Department of Insurance.
California Policy Research
Over the years, Consumers Union has been active in supporting pro-consumer legislation in California. This year, Consumers Union is co-sponsoring Senate Bill 137, which would require insurers to publish accurate, accessible provider directories, and supporting other legislation, including bills on prescription drug costs and Medi-Cal estate recovery, to ensure that the implementation of the ACA in California continues to serve consumers across the state.
California Rate Review
With a grant from the California Department of Managed Healthcare, Consumers Union’s West Coast Office advocates for reasonable health insurance rates by reviewing and commenting on health insurance rate filings and engaging consumers in conversations around health insurance rate setting. For the 2018 plan year, Consumers Union submitted comments on three health insurers’ rate filings:
Find all of our Rate Review work here.
- Consumers Union Statement on Proposed Acquisition of Cigna Corporation by Anthem, Inc.
- Proposed Acquisition of Health Net Life Insurance Company and Health Net, Inc. by Centene Corporation and Chopin Merger Sub I and Sub II, Inc.
- Proposed material modification concerning the acquisition of Humana, Inc. by Aetna, Inc.
- Proposed Merger of Centene Corporation and Health Net of California, Inc.
- Consumers Union Comments to California Department of Insurance on Anthem-Cigna Merger
- Consumers Union Comments to California Department of Insurance on Humana-Aetna Merger