Making Health Care Work

HOLDING HEALTH INSURERS ACCOUNTABLE—CALPIRG is working to make sure health insurers are providing affordable, high-quality care, and not trying to increase profits at our expense.

LOWER COSTS, BETTER CARE

After years of fighting for the right policies and fighting attacks on health care reform, the state's new health insurance marketplace has opened its doors. Covered California is now offering millions of Californians new choices for health insurance.

From the beginning, CALPIRG has worked to make sure the marketplace would use the buying power of millions of Californians to aggressively push insurers for better deals, more competition and changes in how we pay for health care. The plans announced in California are expected to reduce the cost of health insurance for most individuals, while often offering better benefits.

Thanks to new CALPIRG-supported consumer protections, Californians will not be denied coverage due to pre-existing medical conditions. Prices will not vary by gender. Insurers won't be able to set lifetime maximum dollars amounts for health care, and limits on maximum out-of-pocket costs will protect Californians from medical bankruptcy. All policies sold on the marketplace must cover preventive care, prescription drugs, contraception, medical screenings (e.g., mammograms) and other essential benefits, such as pediatric, mental health, maternity and rehabilitation services.

CALPIRG is continuing to work to provide consumers with access to high-quality, affordable care.

  1. Throughout 2013 and 2014, we plan to educate half a million Californians about our new health insurance options and consumer protections, now in place thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Check out our new health insurance guide for young people.
  2. In fall 2012, we launched our Health Insurance Rate Watch project to investigate rate hikes, and to push back against the industry when those proposed hikes are unjustified. See here for a recent victory for California consumers.
  3. We are fighting the high cost of prescription drugs.
  4. We are calling on the legislature to hold health insurance companies accountable for making sure they are reining in excessive prices and unnecessary paperwork, and to give state officials the power to prohibit insurers from increasing rates if they aren't.

Learn more about our priority campaign to end the pharmaceutical industry's scheme to delay cheaper drugs from entering the market:

Issue updates

Media Hit | Health Care

Consumers are paying more money for certain drugs

The California Public Interest Research Group  released the report on  a practice critics call "Pay for delay."   That's when brand name drug companies pay off generic manufacturers to delay putting generic versions on the market.  As a result, consumers end up paying a lot more. The study found in some cases hundreds of dollars more were spent on meds used to treat cancer,  depression and heart disease. 

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Media Hit | Health Care

Pharmaceutical companies pay to delay generics

The report, from the California Public Interest Research Group and Community Catalyst, a nonprofit advocate for affordable health care, said pay-for-delay deals enable companies to continue to sell their brand-name drugs at high prices well after their original patents have expired.

> Keep Reading
Media Hit | Health Care

Drug Makers Stall Generics With “Pay For Delay” Says CALPIRG

The California Public Interest Research Group or CALPIRG has released details on what it says is a practice that leads to prescription drug price inflation. CALPIRG calls it “pay for delay.” CALPIRG says the practice of keeping generics off the market makes consumers pay more for medications that treat conditions like cancer and high cholesterol.

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Media Hit | Health Care

CALPIRG study claims drug companies hold back generic meds

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —A study by a public interest group found Californians have overpaid for medications because brand-made drugs were delayed from reaching pharmacies.

Read more: http://www.kcra.com/news/calpirg-study-claims-drug-companies-hold-back-generic-meds/-/11797728/20945964/-/uh9rdr/-/index.html#ixzz2YrSJnikK

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News Release | CALPIRG | Health Care

Twenty Top Generic Drugs Delayed By Industry Payoffs

The report, “Top Twenty Pay-for-Delay Drugs: How Drug Industry Payoffs Delay Generics, Inflate Prices and Hurt Consumers” reveals that these drugs were subject to an industry practice called “pay for delay,” in which brand name pharmaceutical companies pay off generic drug manufacturers to keep lower cost equivalents off the market, forcing consumers to pay higher brand-name drug prices.

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Media Hit | Health Care

In California, Aetna raises health insurance rates for small businesses

If politicos in Sacramento and Washington are serious about creating quality jobs in America, they should embrace efforts to rein in unsustainable health costs for small-business owners and their employees," said Austin Price of CALPIRG. 

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News Release | CALPIRG | Health Care

Aetna Rate Increases for Small Businesses “Unjustified”

Sacramento, CA – The California Department of Insurance issued a statement today finding new rate increases of up to 21.4% annually for some small business health plans sold by Aetna unreasonable.  Aetna attempted to justify the increases with projections for medical costs in excess of their actual experience and also in excess of federal measurements of medical inflation.

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Media Hit | Health Care

The Sacramento Bee: The Conversation: Stuck in no man's land for health coverage

One man's story of the obstacles he encountered trying to purchase health insurance on the individual market illustrates why the changes coming n 2014 are so important.

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News Release | CALPIRG | Health Care

Health Care Reform Benefiting Californians

To mark the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act we collected stories from our members who are benefiting from health care reform.

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News Release | CALPIRG | Health Care

CALPIRG Supported Law Saved Consumers $127 Million in Health Care Premiums

In 2010, CALPIRG helped pass a law requiring insurance companies to disclose the justification for their health insurance rate hikes. The disclosure uncovered errors and unjustified claims by insurers that saved Californians $127 million on their health insurance rates in 2011. 

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We’ve got a chance to clean up the health care industry in California, but with lobbyists lining the halls of the state capitol, we need your support.

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