Kaiser Health News writes of a new Californian law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom last month which may help consumers sort through a tangle of medical bills to figure out what their health plan will cover and when the coverage kicks in.
The law, SB 368, requires most state-regulated private-sector health plans to send enrollees updates, for every month in which they received care, showing how much they have paid toward their annual deductible — the amount a person must shell out before insurance begins to cover most of their care — and how close they are to reaching out-of-pocket limits, the amount after which the insurer pays for 100% of care.
The law, which takes effect in July, should help people with costly chronic conditions who need to keep better track of how much they owe, and healthy ones who rarely seek care but might suddenly encounter unexpected medical circumstances.
The new law requires health plans to send out-of-pocket updates via mail unless the insured opts for electronic delivery. The information must also be stored in a format that is accessible to customers at any time.