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BLUE CROSS OF CALIFORNIA APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF SMALL GROUP INSURANCE LEGISLATION

 BLUE CROSS OF CALIFORNIA APPLAUDS PASSAGE
 OF SMALL GROUP INSURANCE LEGISLATION
 WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross of California today commended Gov. Pete Wilson and the California Legislature for enacting a bill that will bring about a major change in the way health insurance is sold in the state, without new taxes or employer mandates.
 Blue Cross of California Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Leonard D. Schaeffer said small business health insurance reform legislation A.B. 1672, introduced by Assemblyman Burt Margolin, D-Los Angeles, is a good first step toward making health coverage accessible and affordable for most of California's 6 million uninsured residents.
 "Since 87 percent of the uninsured in the state are workers or their dependents, and half of those uninsured employees work in small firms, we feel that a significant number of Californians will benefit from this legislation," Schaeffer said.
 "This bill incorporates key elements of legislation introduced earlier this year by Assemblymen Paul Horcher, R-Whittier, and Bruce Bronzan, D-Fresno, and actively supported by California-based insurers Blue Cross of California, Pacific Mutual and Blue Shield of California."
 Those elements -- guaranteed issue and renewal of all products, limitation of rate increases and waiting periods for pre-existing medical conditions, and portability of coverage -- will prevent the dangerous "niche marketing" practiced by many out-of-state health insurers.
 Blue Cross of California currently insures more than 240,000 small business employees and their dependents in more than 14,500 firms with between 3-50 employees. The company also insures more than 650,000 Californians who are in groups of less than three or who are self-employed. The Blue Cross Small Group Access program has been using key elements of Assemblyman Margolin's bill, and is currently enrolling 8,000 Californians a month.
 Schaeffer said, "Much more must be done, and Blue Cross of California is committed to working with the Legislature, the executive branch, and the insurance industry to bring about the macro reform this state need to move into the next century."
 Founded in 1937, Blue Cross of California is a public benefit corporation. Total benefits paid out in 1991 exceeded $7.5 billion.
 -0- 9/29/92
 /NOTE: This release is in conjunction with Gov. Wilson's signing of A.B. 1672/
 /CONTACT: Larry Bryant of Blue Cross of California, 818-703-2473 (office), 818-703-2563 (fax), or 213-953-1309 (home)/ CO: Blue Cross of California ST: California IN: INS HEA SU: LEG


JB-KJ -- LA019 -- 4547 09/29/92 16:58 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 29, 1992
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