California Governor To Extend Health Care Coverage To Consumers
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued the following statement after his Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) announced a settlement with PacifiCare, its third settlement with a major California health plan:
"I'm pleased that my Department of Managed Health Care has reached yet another agreement with a major California health plan to extend coverage to consumers who were previously stripped of their health coverage. Today's announcement with PacifiCare marks a huge milestone-the majority of large health plans have now agreed to offer coverage to their former members-and all others should follow suit. I want to see as many Californians able to regain their health coverage as quickly as possible because no one should have to live in fear that their health care coverage will be taken away in the first place. The fact that this unfair practice of rescinding health care coverage exists at all is just one more red flag signaling the need for comprehensive health care reform in our state."
Under the terms of the agreement with DMHC, PacifiCare will offer coverage to approximately 60 former members, without subjecting them to medical underwriting. Any medical charges incurred by the former enrollee during the time they did not have coverage from another source will be offered expedited dispute resolution to settle any outstanding claims. In addition, the member can pursue any additional damages.
Last month, the Department of Managed Health Care reached a similar agreement with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Health Net to extend coverage to consumers who previously had their health care coverage rescinded.