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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. We are fighting the high cost of prescription drugs.
  4. 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:

Issue updates

Media Hit | Health Care

CALPIRG study claims drug companies hold back generic meds

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —A study by a public interest group found Californians have overpaid for medications because brand-made drugs were delayed from reaching pharmacies.

Read more: http://www.kcra.com/news/calpirg-study-claims-drug-companies-hold-back-generic-meds/-/11797728/20945964/-/uh9rdr/-/index.html#ixzz2YrSJnikK

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News Release | CALPIRG | Health Care

Twenty Top Generic Drugs Delayed By Industry Payoffs

The report, “Top Twenty Pay-for-Delay Drugs: How Drug Industry Payoffs Delay Generics, Inflate Prices and Hurt Consumers” reveals that these drugs were subject to an industry practice called “pay for delay,” in which brand name pharmaceutical companies pay off generic drug manufacturers to keep lower cost equivalents off the market, forcing consumers to pay higher brand-name drug prices.

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Report | CALPIRG | Health Care

Top Twenty Pay-For-Delay Drugs

Californians with cancer, heart disease, epilepsy and other conditions have been forced to pay an average of 10 times more than necessary for at least 20 blockbuster drugs, according to a report released today by California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) and Community Catalyst.

 

 

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Media Hit | Health Care

High court rules 'pay-for-delay' drug deals can face antitrust suits

"While we're disappointed the court did not take the next step and outlaw this anti-competitive practice, we expect Congressto now give this issue the attention it deserves and end these deals once and for all," said Austin Price, field director for the California Public Interest Research Group.

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Covered California Announces New Plans and Rates for 2014

“Today’s announcement is the exciting next step in ensuring that Californians can access affordable and reliable heath care coverage,” said Jon Fox.

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News Release | CALPIRG | Health Care

Health Care Reform Benefiting Californians

To mark the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act we collected stories from our members who are benefiting from health care reform.

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News Release | CALPIRG | Health Care

CALPIRG Supported Law Saved Consumers $127 Million in Health Care Premiums

In 2010, CALPIRG helped pass a law requiring insurance companies to disclose the justification for their health insurance rate hikes. The disclosure uncovered errors and unjustified claims by insurers that saved Californians $127 million on their health insurance rates in 2011. 

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News Release | CALPIRG | Health Care

Supreme Court to Hear Challenges on Health Reform

The Supreme Court’s decision to hear arguments on the new health reform law means that soon, the question of its constitutionality will be settled, allowing states and policymakers to focus on lowering costs for consumers without being distracted by counterproductive lawsuits. Upholding the law would be a clear win for consumers, while a bad ruling would pull the rug out from under states and consumers.

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Health Care

California's Health Exchange on Track to Lower Costs for Consumers

California’s health insurance exchange has the potential to be a national leader in delivering better value for consumers, according to Making the Grade, a new report by CALPIRG Education Fund. 

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News Release | CALPIRG | Health Care

Blue Shield Refund Shows Need for Stronger Rate Review

Blue Shield of California followed through on its promise to cap profits at 2% of revenue resulting in a refund of $295 million to policyholders.  This action comes in the midst of increased public scrutiny about major premium increases from several of California’s major health insurers and a push for legislation that would give regulators the authority to reject or reduce unjustified rate hikes. 

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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.

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