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California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issues statement on latest Trump attack on women’s health care

News: 2019 Press Release

For Release: December 20, 2019
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Email Inquiries: cdipress@insurance.ca.gov
California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issues statement on latest Trump attack on women’s health care
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today offered the following statement regarding the federal government’s “Exchange Program Integrity” rule, which was made final today.
“The Trump Administration continued its attack on access to health care today by finalizing regulations that will create consumer confusion that is likely to result in some people losing their health insurance coverage. This Trump rule includes an absurd requirement that the minimal cost associated with abortion coverage be reflected in a separate bill for health insurance premiums each month. Since existing law prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortion coverage, this rule serves only to stigmatize this basic health care service. This rule is an attempt to pressure health insurers to remove abortion coverage from policies, but that tactic will not work in California because state law requires coverage for abortion. The Department of Insurance will fight to prevent this rule from ever going into effect.”
 
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Media Notes:
  • This duplicative billing requirement, which is set to go into effect within a few months will cause significant consumer confusion. Consumers who only pay one of the two monthly bills from their health insurer will be at risk for losing coverage, all because they failed to notice or understand the separate bill for abortion coverage. For electronic billing via email, the negligible cost of abortion coverage has to be billed to the consumer in a separate email.
  • In a January 2019 letter to the federal government, the Department of Insurance criticized the proposed Trump Administration rule, due to concerns that it will put health coverage of Californians at risk by imposing duplicative, confusing billing requirements. Medically necessary abortion services are the only benefits being treated in this fashion, proving that this rule has nothing to do with health care and everything to do with politics. The Department will continue to make all efforts to assure that Californians successfully maintain their health insurance, despite the Trump Administration’s addition of needless costs and punitive administrative burdens.


The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.

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