Twenty-four Members of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation (CDCD), Chaired by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19), the Chair of the delegation, released the following letter today to California Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley and Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee urging them to implement President Obama's administrative fix that gives consumers the option to renew their 2013 health plans in 2014, without change. The following is the full text of the letter which can also be viewed by clicking here:
November 14, 2013
Secretary, California Health and Human Services
1600 9th Street, Room 450
Sacramento, CA 95814
Mr. Peter V. Lee
Executive Director, California Health Benefit Exchange
560 J Street, Suite 270
Sacramento, CA 95814
Secretary Dooley and Mr. Lee,
First, we want to congratulate the team at Covered California for a web site that works and for efforts that will allow many Californians who could not previously obtain health care insurance to finally get access to health care.
However, more than 1 million Californians across the state have received health insurance plan cancellation notices this year. 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. These families were told that if they liked their plan they can keep it, and that is a promise we must keep to them.
On November 14, 2013, the President proposed to extend grandfathering provisions to all individual health plans our constituents currently enjoy. This is a critical fix to ensure stability in California families' coverage and a smooth transition to full implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Implementation of a grandfathering provision relies on the state certifying these plans. Therefore, we encourage you in the strongest terms possible to implement this policy swiftly to ensure that California families can have the option of keeping their current health insurance plans.
Similarly, our delegation has heard from constituents who, after cancellation, face premium increases of more than 300%, which may require them to drop their coverage and pay a penalty instead. This stands in direct contrast to the original goals of the ACA. While the number of individuals may be small relative to all those in the exchange pool we strongly believe that no Californian should lose their coverage due to excessive premium increases.
We thank you for your immediate attention to this issue.
Gloria Negrete McLeod