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Summary of CA Legislation to Improve ACA

Anthony Wright from Health Access recently summarized health-related bills that passed full floor votes in the California Legislature on Friday, June 3. These bills aim to control costs, expand access, guarantee benefits, maximize coverage, and assist small businesses. The following bills have passed either the House or the Senate and will move into Health Committees, Appropriations Committees, and will then be voted on by the floor of the second house.


  • SB 51 (Alquist) MEDICAL LOSS RATIO: Ensures that premium dollars go to patient care rather than administration or profit. Requires (per the Affordable Care Act) that insurers who do not spend the specified percentage of premium dollars on patient care provide refunds to patients.
  • SB 155 (Evans) MATERNITY CARE: Phases in maternity care benefit mandate by requiring new health insurance policies submitted after January 1, 2012 to provide coverage for maternity services. Federal law will require coverage of maternity care starting in 2014.
  • SB 222 (Alquist) COUNTY-RUN HEALTH INSURANCE OPTIONS: Allows counties, county special commissions, or county health authorities that govern, own, or operate a local initiative health plan or county-organized health system to form joint ventures to offer health plans to individuals and groups.
  • SB 703 (Hernandez) BASIC HEALTH PLAN: Creates a Basic Health Plan for Californian adults between 133% and 200% of the federal poverty level, as allowed under the Affordable Care Act.
  • SB 728 (Hernandez) RISK ADJUSTMENT: Requires the new Health Insurance Exchange to set up risk adjustment, so insurers compete not based on who had sicker or healthier patients, but on cost and quality and other factors.

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