Covered California Transparency Stops at Rate Hike Proposals

Despite a health exchange deadline last week, Covered California has opted to keep proposed rates hikes secret. As part of federal requirements, state health exchanges must post all "proposed rates increases" on their websites.
In a May Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) bulletin, federal officials said the proposals must be public by June 19. But California's health exchange lobbied CMS, saying that it was in negotiations and would be unable to meet that deadline. It's unlikely any proposal would be made public until late July.
Other states, like Colorado, have alread posted the proposed rate changes. Unlike California, state regulators for other exchanges have approval of any rate changes so no final amounts have been set. 
Consumer Watchdog called on Covered California to release the proposals. Exchange executives have in the past crowed about their negotiations in keeping coverage affordable, though many disagree.  With transparency, policyholders and potential policyholders can compare and judge for themselves based on price and benefits from proposal to finalized rates. 
Covered California, and its executive director, Peter Lee, have frequently stated that being open and transparent is a key mantra for the exchange. But recent events might suggest otherwise. 
Aside from delaying public disclosure of proposed rate hikes, Covered California has also quietly engaged a research company to analyze policyholder data as well as gave Lee two raises and a $65,000 bonus in the past six months. 
Read Consumer Watchdog's letter:

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