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August 05, 2008

California insurance bill nears completion

The state of California is nearing a compromise on legislation that would tighten controls on individual medical insurance policies, sources said.

The bill aims to restrict profit on individual policies, mandate a minimum for benefits and regulate California insurance companies' ability to cancel plans retroactively, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

The plan falls short of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's original plan of providing insurance for 5 million uninsured Californians, the Times reported.

State law makers rejected Schwarzenegger's $14.9 billion insurance plan in January, although insurance companies backed the bill, as it would have provided them with millions of new customers, the report said.

The new bill has little support from California health insurers because it crimps profits on some of their most lucrative policies, the Times reported.

A 2006 survey found that individual policies cost an average $259 per month, compared with $383 per month for policies purchased by small businesses for their employees.

Individual policy owners, however, paid three times the amount the group policy members paid for deductibles and co-payments, the Times reported.

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Posted by healthinsurance at August 5, 2008 12:01 PM