Difference of Opinions

Published on

Sacramento Bee

Blue Cross of California thought it was doing a good thing when it rolled out a new line of discounted health plans this week – honest.

Blue Cross, the state’s largest for-profit health insurer with about 4.5 million members, thought the lower-priced plans would help reduce the
growing number of Californians with no health insurance.

But some of the state’s health policy wonks and consumer advocates
weren’t thrilled. Jamie Court of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, never a fan of managed care, was perhaps the harshest in his criticism. Blue Cross‘s action could “create a new brand of junk policies that do not provide real protection,” Court said.

Blue Cross sees the discounted plans, which offer individuals more flexibility in designing their coverage, as a step forward that will create an “opportunity to keep as many Californians as possible covered.”

Bee staff writers Gilbert Chan, Jean P. Fisher, Loretta Kalb and Bob Walter contributed to this report.

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