Calif. could be first to adopt health insurance exchange

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Sept. 6, 2010

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The California Legislature has adopted a bill to create a health insurance exchange as laid out in the national health reform law.

California would be the first state to approve a health insurance exchange if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signs the measure. The bill was passed in August, but Schwarzenegger had not received it as of this article's deadline and had not announced a position on it.

The California Health Benefit Exchange would be a marketplace for new health insurance plans that meet federal standards approved this year. It would advise people seeking such coverage if they are eligible for subsidies to buy insurance and explain the types of coverage available. The federal government will operate exchanges in states that do not enact their own. The health reform law provides for all Americans to have access to an exchange by 2014.

Meanwhile, the number of uninsured people in California reached 8.4 million in 2009, a 2 million increase since 2007, according to a report released Aug. 23 by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. (link).

Note: This item originally appeared at

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