Commissioner Jones urges federal government to withdraw proposed health care rule
News: 2018 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Today Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in opposition to the proposed rule, Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance. In part Jones' letter reads:
"The proposed rule, Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance, 83 Fed. Reg. 7437 (proposed Feb. 21, 2018), is yet another attack on the integrity of the nation's health insurance markets. This rule attempts to replace comprehensive coverage compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with skimpy health insurance that had previously driven some consumers to bankruptcy.
Short-term limited-duration insurance is not individual health insurance under federal law and, therefore, does not have to comply with the ACA. These policies typically lack the consumer protections available in the ACA market by utilizing underwriting based upon health status, denying coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions, or pricing those individuals out of these products. As such, under federal law, an insurer could deny coverage or charge higher premiums based on any factor the insurer deems relevant, including pre-existing conditions, gender, gender identity, or age, unless prohibited by state law. Although touted as being an affordable alternative to ACA-compliant coverage, these policies return us to a race to the bottom rather than providing a meaningful alternative.
I strongly oppose the proposed rule, Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance (proposed Rule), because it further erodes the protections provided under the ACA, poses significant risk to health insurance markets in California and the nation, and offers consumers skimpy health insurance policies that cannot be relied upon to cover necessary health services when they need them most."
Commissioner Dave Jones' letter
Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at www.insurance.ca.gov via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.