COVERED CALIFORNIA MUST COMPLY WITH NEW LAW
Covered California contracts will be open to public inspection Jan. 1, 2014. Covered California’s contracts for marketing, public relations, and consulting are now open for the Legislative Audit Committee to inspect. Though the law does allow the public to view what is in these contracts, it does not change the fact that rates charged by health insurance firms can still be disclosed for up to one year.
The law does not begin until Jan. 1, 2014, the same day that coverage begins. Covered California says they will begin to comply immediately with the new law.
Below is an article written by Reporter Stephanie O’Neill on the new law.
New law forces Covered California to let public view contracts
Governor Jerry Brown has on this week signed legislation that removes a shield of secrecy around Covered California, the state-run health insurance marketplace.
The new law removes provisions, uncovered earlier this year by the Associated Press, that have allowed Covered California to conduct its business without public scrutiny or legislative oversight.
The law empowers the Legislative Audit Committee to inspect all Covered California contracts. It also says Covered California’s contracts for marketing, public relations, consulting and other similar services must be open to public inspection.
“All agencies of California State government should be subject to the California State Public Records Act,” says State Senator Bill Emmerson (R-Redlands), author of the measure. ” I think the public deserves the right to know what are in these contracts.”
The law does leave in place some disclosure restrictions regarding the rates charged by health insurance firms. Covered California can shield rate information from public inspection for a year after a contract is signed.
Emmerson says Covered California officials assure him that while the law does not take effect until January 1st, 2014, the agency will begin complying with it immediately.