Lawsuit Challenges Covered California Policies

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SACRAMENTO-

Roseville State Senator Ted Gaines has filed a lawsuit to stop Covered California from forcing the cancellation of insurance policies that don’t meet their requirements.

The entity charged with implementing with signing up Californians for health insurance coverage under Obamacare has been the punching bag for critics, like Gaines, who say it’s taking away choice from people and businesses in the state.

“These people are forced off their policies to buy coverages that in many cases are more expensive and had higher deductibles,” Gaines said Wednesday, in front of the Capitol.

It’s surprise that California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones hasn’t responded. Gaines is running against Jones for that job this year.

Jones, a Democrat,  is not beyond making high-profile statements on the issue in advance of his reelection campaign.  Jones has, at times, sought the delay of the implementation of Obamacare. He’s also fought to keep some insurance companies from being put into the Covered California insurance exchange, saying their premiums were too steep.

Gaines, a Republican, said he doesn’t want taxpayers to bail out Covered California, which he claims is underfunded.  He’s in favor of more choice for people and that means more insurance companies in the exchange.

“They have to be held to account but at the same time we want to make sure that we provide more competition so that consumers have more choices,” Gaines said.

His lawsuit would stop Covered California from requiring people who want to retain their insurance policies to give them up for a qualified plan offered in the exchange.

Attorney Michael McClelland, who prepared the complaint filed in Los Angeles, says Covered California is actually violating the federal Affordable Care Act.

“They had insurance, they liked it, congress and the president and the federal law promised they could keep it,” McClelland said of the 900 thousand customers who he and Gaines say were deprived of the coverage of their choice.

Covered California says it hasn’t seen the lawsuit and could not respond to inquiries about it.

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