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Appropriations Committee decides on health reform legislation

The Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committee met on Thursday to make final decisions on key health reform legislation. The advancing bills must pass floor votes by the August 31st deadline to make it to the Governor’s desk for signature. A brief description of each of the bills moving forward is listed below:

AB 43 (Monning)/SB 677 (Hernandez) Medi-Cal Eligibility: Changes Medi-Cal eligibility rules beginning January 1, 2014 to align with that of the ACA and simplifies enrollment by eliminating asset test.

AB 1453 (Monning)/SB 951 (Hernandez) Essential Health Benefits: Requires health plans to provide a minimum set of essential health benefits equivalent to the Kaiser Small Group HMO.

AB 1461 (Monning)/ SB 961 (Hernandez) Reforming the Individual Market: Prohibits health plans from discriminating or denying health coverage due to pre-existing conditions and phases-in other insurance market reforms for the individual market.

AB 2392 (Perez) Medi-Cal Interpreter Services: Instructs DHCS to seek federal funding to provide interpreting services for Medi-Cal patients that may need it.

SB 970 (DeLeon) Horizontal Integration: Creates a no wrong door policy by allowing individuals to apply for public programs and social services through an integrated system.

A number of bills did not make it out of the Appropriations Committee, including the widely discussed Basic Health Plan (SB 703 Hernandez), which would establish more affordable health coverage for individuals with income between 133-200% FPL.

For a detailed list of other health reform bills discussed by the Appropriations Committee, view this blog post by Health Access.

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