California bill would bar higher out-of-network cost sharing when timely in-network care unavailable
Pending California legislation would bar health plans and insurers from imposing higher out of pocket costs for out of network services in instances where a plan or insurer is unable to ensure timely access to a medically necessary, covered service by a contracted provider.
Under existing law, California managed health care service plans are required to provide members timely access to providers. AB 2533 would require the California Department of Insurance to develop similar rules for insurance plans it regulates including waiting time for doctor appointments.
The proposed legislation comes amid reports of individuals in plans purchased through the state’s health benefit exchange marketplace, Covered California, being turned away by providers they believed were included in their plans. (Additional background here)
The measure passed its first policy committee this week in the state Assembly. Click here for the text of AB 2533 as amended April 22, 2014.
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