CA bill seeks to reduce health care exchange secrecy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A state legislative committee has approved a bill that would require California's health insurance exchange to make more contract information publicly available.

The Senate Health Committee voted 9-0 to pass the legislation by Republican Sen. Bill Emmerson and Democratic Sen. Mark DeSaulnier. They introduced the bill after a story by The Associated Press revealed the unique degree of privacy granted to Covered California.

Exchange officials currently can keep contracts private for one year. Contract amounts can be kept secret indefinitely.

Under SB332, only contracts with health insurance plans could be withheld for a year. Payment details in those contracts would be private for four years.

Government transparency advocates say contract details should be disclosed once the agreements are final.

The bill now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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