Making Health Care Work
HOLDING HEALTH INSURERS ACCOUNTABLE—CALPIRG is working to make sure health insurers are providing affordable, high-quality care, and not trying to increase profits at our expense.
LOWER COSTS, BETTER CARE
After years of fighting for the right policies and fighting attacks on health care reform, the state's new health insurance marketplace has opened its doors. Covered California is now offering millions of Californians new choices for health insurance.
From the beginning, CALPIRG has worked to make sure the marketplace would use the buying power of millions of Californians to aggressively push insurers for better deals, more competition and changes in how we pay for health care. The plans announced in California are expected to reduce the cost of health insurance for most individuals, while often offering better benefits.
Thanks to new CALPIRG-supported consumer protections, Californians will not be denied coverage due to pre-existing medical conditions. Prices will not vary by gender. Insurers won't be able to set lifetime maximum dollars amounts for health care, and limits on maximum out-of-pocket costs will protect Californians from medical bankruptcy. All policies sold on the marketplace must cover preventive care, prescription drugs, contraception, medical screenings (e.g., mammograms) and other essential benefits, such as pediatric, mental health, maternity and rehabilitation services.
CALPIRG is continuing to work to provide consumers with access to high-quality, affordable care.
- Throughout 2013 and 2014, we plan to educate half a million Californians about our new health insurance options and consumer protections, now in place thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Check out our new health insurance guide for young people.
- In fall 2012, we launched our Health Insurance Rate Watch project to investigate rate hikes, and to push back against the industry when those proposed hikes are unjustified. See here for a recent victory for California consumers.
- We are fighting the high cost of prescription drugs.
- We are calling on the legislature to hold health insurance companies accountable for making sure they are reining in excessive prices and unnecessary paperwork, and to give state officials the power to prohibit insurers from increasing rates if they aren't.
Learn more about our priority campaign to end the pharmaceutical industry's scheme to delay cheaper drugs from entering the market:
- Health Insurance Rate Watch: Comments on the Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company Proposal
- Health Insurance Rate Watch: Comments on Blue Shield Rate Filing
- California Health Insurance Rate Review
- Comments on the Anthem Blue Cross Proposal to Raise Health Insurance Rates
- Top Twenty Pay-For-Delay Drugs
Tools & Resources
A Consumers' Guide to a New Cell Phone Plan
CALPIRG Education Fund
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Read the Health Insurance 101 guide below, or download the PDF here.CALPIRG Education Fund
We’ve got a chance to clean up the health care industry in California, but with lobbyists lining the halls of the state capitol, we need your support.