Monday, August 4, 2008

Health insurance ambition narrows

Schwarzenegger seeks a deal to cap profits, set minimum benefits and limit cancellations on individual policies. Seeking to salvage two years of efforts to completely remake California's health insurance system, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic legislators are nearing deals intended to rein in costly, meager medical insurance policies sold directly to individuals.

Three million Californians buy health insurance on their own rather than through employers. Insurers keep premiums low -- and profits high, their critics say -- on some individual policies by limiting the services they cover. Many of the policies have big deductibles and require patients to pay large portions of their expenses, costing them much more than coverage obtained at workplaces.

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