Senate OKs bill to diversify Covered California

May 15, 2014 4:24 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The state Senate has approved a bill to diversify the board overseeing Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange.

SB972 by Democratic Sen. Norma Torres of Pomona passed 33-0 Thursday and moves to the Assembly.

The bill initially sought to expand the five-member board by two seats but was met with resistance by other senators. The amended version adds several categories to the qualifications for appointment. They include health product marketing, information technology, information systems management and enrollment assistance.

Torres says the exchange could have avoided some consumer complaints about under-enrollment of Latinos and blacks had board members ensured it did a better job reaching out to those populations.

Covered California also was criticized for problems with its website and long wait times for consumers calling its service centers.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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