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California — New rules designed to make
it tougher for health insurers to cancel policies in California take
effect next week. The regulations from the state’s insurance
commissioner support new federal laws.
Insurers have argued they have the right to terminate a policy if a person lied or made a mistake on their application.
California’s new rules let applicants say they’re not sure or they
can’t remember the answer to a health history question. Federal health
reform allows insurers to cancel a policy only if there was intent to
Jamie Court directs the nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog.
"Having the double whammy of both the new federal rules and the state
insurance commissioner’s regulations, makes it very clear to insurance
companies what they can and cannot do," said Court.
State officials say that over the past few years thousands of Californians have had their health coverage illegally terminated.