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Update on Health-Related Legislation

The following bills have passed Appropriations Committees and will proceed to final floor votes in the next two weeks (September 9 deadline). They must pass both houses before moving to the Governor’s desk. The Governor will have until October 9 to sign or veto these bills.

AB 52 (Rate Regulation): Gives state regulators, the Department of Insurance and the Department of Managed Health Care authority to reject unjustified rate increase by insurers.

Status: Passed Assembly Appropriations Committee. Moving to Senate floor. Assemblyman Feuer is negotiating amendments to win support from Senators.

AB 1296 (Eligibility and Enrollment): Would streamline eligibility and enrollment processes for those seeking coverage from Medi-Cal and the Exchange. Creates a “No Wrong Door” policy.

Status: Passed Senate Appropriations committee. Moving to Assembly Floor.

AB 922 (Helping Consumers): Would better equip Office of the Patient Advocate to serve newly eligible individuals by answering questions and complaints leading up to 2014.

Status: Passed Senate Appropriations committee. Moving to Assembly Floor.

SB 51 (Medical Loss Ratios): Implements MLR requirements in California and allows the state to enforce the ratios. Requires insurers spend 85% and 80% of premium dollars on medical care in the large and small group ratios, respectively.

Status: Passed Assembly Appropriations Committee. Moves to Senate Floor.

SB 222 (Joint Ventures): Would allow local health plans and initiatives to create local health insurance options through joint ventures.

Status: Passed Assembly Appropriations Committee. Moves to Senate Floor.

In addition, AB 1083 (adopts small group insurance reforms) is already on the Senate floor.

 

The following bills did not move forward.

SB 703 (Basic Health Plan): Would create an alternate health plan for low-income individuals between 0 and 200% FPL. The plan would be 95% subsidized by the federal government.

Status: Held as two-year bill by Assembly Appropriations and will be taken up next year.

AB 714 and AB 792 (Enrollment and Eligibility): Would notify and pre-enroll eligible individuals into available coverage in 2014.

Status: Held as two-year bills by Senate Appropriations and will be taken up next year.

SB 770 (Autism): Would require insurers to cover services related to autism.

Status: Assembly Appropriations took no action to move the bill forward this year.

SB 155 (Maternity Care): Would require insurers to cover maternity benefits.

Status: Assembly Appropriations took no action to move the bill forward this year.

For more information, visit Anthony Wright’s blog on the Health Access website.

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