Bill Aims to Protect Californians’ Health Coverage

The practice of denying patients health insurance coverage for preexisting illnesses may soon be a thing of the past—at least in California. Legislation requiring an independent review of decisions made by insurers to cancel or rescind patient coverage passed the California Assembly June 3. The vote was 45-26 in favor.

Under Assembly Bill 2 (AB 2), authored by Assemblyman Hector De La Torre, D-Southgate, insurers would be subject to an independent external review before they could rescind coverage. Patients would keep their coverage until a decision was made.

The California Medical Association—who sponsored the bill—said in a press release the same day that the legislation would raise the legal standard for rescission by stipulating that to cancel coverage, the insurer must have completed medical underwriting for the patient and be able to show the patient willfully misrepresented information.

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