From our friends over at the Health Access Blog comes a great post about a California bill, SB890, that would implement many of the consumer protection pieces of national health reform early, like setting up strong medical loss ratios, so that insurers spend dollars on caring for people, not admin and profits, and creating minimum benefit standards in the private insurance market to help consumers make good comparisons. Here’s an excerpt:

By standardizing the benefits in the insurance market, consumers can make real apples-to-apples comparisons, forcing insurers to compete on price and quality rather than avoiding sick people. It ensures people know the kind of coverage they are buying, and what that plan actually covers. It prevents consumers from finding out too late that what their ailment isn’t covered. It prevents the worst forms of “junk” insurance, where patients are paying premiums and finding little value in return.
Read the rest of the post about how standardizing benefits allows for real choice at the Health Access Blog.

–Kate Petersen, Health Policy Hub