The California Legislature has passed a bill (AB 2138), by Assembly member Bob Blumenfield (D- Woodland Hills), that would help increase funding to fight health and disability insurance fraud in the state, Payers & Providers reports.
The bill was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown (D).
The legislation would increase the current annual surcharge on health and disability insurers from 10 cents per insured individual to 20 cents.
The increase is expected to raise an additional $4 million annually, 70% of which would be given to local district attorneys to help them better prosecute fraud. The fraud divisions of the California Department of Insurance would receive the remaining 30%.
Comments From Insurance Commissioner
State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (D) said he is pleased that lawmakers approved the bill. According to Jones, health and disability fraud "hurts everyone from policyholders to providers, and, unfortunately, it is becoming more sophisticated" (Payers & Providers, 9/6).
He added, "I urge [Brown] to sign this bill" so that DOI and local law enforcement will have "the tools to better combat this disturbing crime, especially in light of federal health care reform" (DOI release, 9/5).