For years, the four major Cal­i­for­nia health car­ri­ers – Health Net, Kaiser, Blue Shield and Anthem Blue Cross – have either part­ly or com­plete­ly avoid­ed the manda­to­ry 2.35% state pre­mi­um tax on col­lect­ed pre­mi­ums. The com­pa­nies claim to be “health ser­vice plans” because doc­tors are required to assume finan­cial risk and that they are noth­ing like CIGNA or Aet­na. Uh huh…needless to say health care and con­sumer advo­cates dis­agree (if it walks like a duck, etc)
There is now a court case to bring the car­ri­ers to task…with the suit just being heard at the end of Jan­u­ary. Gov­er­nor Brown’s admin­is­tra­tion, how­ev­er, has sided with the plans in this case, despite his pledge to con­tin­ue bal­anc­ing the budget.