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Governor Brown Signs Health Reform Legislation, but Vetoes Some Measures

Over the weekend, Governor Brown signed legislation that implements central parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in California. These pieces of legislation define the essential health benefits package, increase oversight of the small group health insurance market, inform individuals of insurance coverage options when they experience a major life change, and support and improve eligibility and enrollment systems.

However, Governor Brown vetoed a health reform measure that would have prohibited insurers from discriminating or denying coverage for preexisting health conditions, as well as legislation that would have reformed insurance market rules to align with the ACA. The vetoed legislation included measures that would also have limited premium variation based on age to 3:1, and would have integrated application processes for health subsidy programs with those for other social services programs.

A list of selected signed and vetoed health reform legislation:



AB1453 (Monning) / SB951 (Hernandez) Essential Health Benefits: Requires health plans to cover a package of essential health benefits equivalent to the Kaiser Small Group HMO.

AB1083 (Monning) Reforming the Small Group Market: Puts in place new insurance oversight and consumer protections for small employers; prevents spikes in costs for employers with employees in poor health.

AB1526 (Monning) Improving the High-Risk Pool: Reduces premiums in the Major Medical Risk Insurance Program (MRMIP) to better align the program with the federal Preexisting Condition Insurance Program (PCIP), funded under the ACA.

SB1410 (Hernandez) Independent Medical Review: Improves the process through which consumers appeal denials of care by making the process more transparent; requires the collection of race, ethnicity, and language data to determine potential health equity issues.

AB1761 (Perez) Exchange Misrepresentation: Prohibits individuals or entities from falsely representing themselves as the California Health Benefit Exchange.

AB792 (Bonilla) Information about Health Coverage during Life Changes: Requires that consumers receive information about insurance options through the California Health Benefit Exchange when experiencing major life changes, such as a job change, divorce, separation, unemployment, etc.

AB174 (Monning) Systems Integration: Supports a Health and Human Service Automation Fund to integrate information systems between health and tax agencies to allow for more seamless eligibility and enrollment efforts.

AB1580 (Bonilla) Eligibility and Enrollment: Streamlines eligibility and enrollment processes in Medi-Cal and other health programs.



SB961 (Hernandez) / AB1461 (Monning) Reforming the Individual Market: Prevents insurers from denying coverage or discriminating for preexisting conditions, and otherwise conforms and phases in new insurance market regulations; limits premium variation based on age to 3:1.

SB970 (DeLeon) Integration of Health Programs with Human Services Programs: Helps individuals applying for public programs to apply through an integrated portal for both health and other social service programs.


Health Access California has been closely monitoring legislative activity. For more information, visit their website at www.health-access.org

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