Monday, August 20 , 2018, 4:56 am | Fair 64º


Capps Pushes for Solution to Canceled Health Insurance Plans

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, spoke on the House floor on Wednesday to urge California state officials to adopt President Barack Obama’s proposed administrative fix to give Californians the option to renew their 2013 health plans for the coming year.

Each state must decide whether to adopt the fix, and Covered California officials have said they are reviewing the policy before making a determination.

Last week, Capps led a letter with Rep. Zoe Lofgren and 22 other members of California’s delegation to Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley and Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee urging them to quickly implement President Obama’s administrative fix that gives consumers the option of a one-year extension of their current health plans in 2014, without change. David Jones, California insurance commissioner, has already come out in support of the proposal.

The administrative fix will give consumers more information and choices, which would ensure stability in California families’ coverage and a smooth transition to full implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

“Covered California has led the way in bringing new, quality health-care opportunities to millions of Californians, but we must do more to ensure that no one is left without the opportunity for affordable coverage,” Capps said. “These families were told that if they liked their plan they can keep it, and that is a promise we must keep to them. The state’s adoption of the grandfathering policy would do just that.”

The copy of Capps’ floor speech is below:

"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to talk about the Affordable Care Act.

"The ACA is working for so many of my constituents on the Central Coast, like Danna in SLO County who tells me she will be saving 40 percent on her family’s premiums. And it is working for the Pacelas in Solvang who have now better coverage while saving $8,000 a year on premiums. And it is working for the thousands of families whose young adult children are on their parents’ plans and for everyone with a pre-existing condition who now cannot be turned down for coverage.

"But I know that this is not the case for all Central Coast residents — especially those who have received cancellation notices this year, either because their insurer is only selling in the exchanges, or because they have stopped offering plans on our area all together. Cancellation of these plans has caused real pain and confusion for our constituents faced with Covered California marketplace options that have different provider networks or premium costs.

"After hearing numerous stories from Central Coast families, it is clear that we must address this problem with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to protect California families and businesses.

"The president has offered an administrative fix to the issue — allow insurance companies to offer plans to those already enrolled next year. But states will be the final decision makers. That is why I led a letter, with Congresswoman Lofgren and 22 of our California colleagues, to Covered California’s leadership asking them to implement this administrative fix without delay.

"Covered California has led the way in bringing new, quality health care opportunities to millions of Californians — the website is working and enrollment is steadily increasing. But with over 1 million Californians receiving cancellation notices of their current plans, we must do more to ensure that no one is left without the opportunity for affordable coverage.

"These families were told that if they liked their plan they can keep it, and that is a promise we must keep to them. I yield back."

C.J. Young is a press assistant for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.


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