Calif. bill would cut health exchange secrecy

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

The bipartisan legislation was introduced after an Associated Press report revealed the unique degree of privacy granted to Covered California. The exchange is allowed to conceal the terms of contracts for a year and the amounts paid indefinitely.

Under SB332 by Senators Bill Emmerson, a Republican from Redlands, and Mark DeSaulnier, a Democrat from Concord, only contracts with health insurance plans could be withheld for a year, and payments in those contracts for four years.

Covered California plans to spend nearly $458 million on outside vendors by the end of 2014.

The Senate passed the measure 33-0 Monday, sending it to the Assembly.

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