The California State Senate was considering legislation that would make employer and carrier wellness programs like those offered by SeeChange Health and other provider and insurance organizations illegal in the state.
Yes, you read that right. Some folks claim these programs discriminate against consumers with existing health conditions, the poor and those living in under-served communities.
As a RAND study sponsored by the Obama Administration found, there’s no evidence this is happening, but that hasn’t stopped Health Access and others from pushing for this bill, CA-SB 189 (Monning, D-Monterey, CA).
Regulations that had been put forward by the Obama Administration already assured that wellness and preventive programs will be fair and appropriate. California’s SB 189 would have made these programs illegal. This is why Be Well Insurance Solutions and groups like the California Association of Health Underwriters (www.CAHU.org) and a coalition of business and health organizations actively opposed CA-SB 189.
A large contingency of Insurance consultants, agents and brokers visited with their local lawmakers on May 13th – 15th; and I am happy to say we were able to deter this bill for this year. Read on:
For Immediate Release:
May 20th, 2013
Congratulations and thank you. Just a few minutes ago, the Senate Appropriations Committee sent Senate Bill 189 (Monning) to their Suspense File, effectively killing the bill for this legislative session. SB 189 would have made it far more difficult for SeeChange Health and other carriers to provide effective wellness and preventive programs to our members in California. With the defeat of the legislation we can continue to work on improving member’s lives while lowering overall health care costs.
SB 189 was defeated by the efforts of a broad coalition that included the California Association of Health Underwriters, the California Medical Association, a host of business groups such as the Grocers’ Association and the Bay Area Council as well as several health plans.
You were instrumental to this victory—along with the hundreds of others who sent more than 1,000 emails to State Senators in opposition to SB 189.
One word of warning, however: the Legislature–and especially the Suspense File–is the original inspiration for zombie movies. Dead bills can live again. So we will remain vigilent and let you know if the need to speak out on this issue returns. I
In the meantime, however, please know your voice was heard and your efforts greatly appreciated by all of us seeking to improve California’s health.