Hours from the deadline..

Today–the final day of the legislative session–the California Legislature passed three more consumer protections and health care transparency measures, adding to the large crop of health reform implementation bills voted on last week and that now also head to the Governor.

All together, the California legislature has passed a unprecedented package of patient protections, building off of the new federal health law to make reform real for California consumers. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will have the month of September to sign or veto them.

The bills passed today include:
* AB2470(De La Torre) on Eliminating Rescissions
* SB890(Alquist), to Standardize Benefits to Allow for Better Comparisons of Plans
* SB1163(Leno), to Provide 60 Day Notice and Transparency on Rate Hikes

The bills passed last week include:
* AB1602 (Perez) & SB900 (Alquist), to Create a New Health Insurance Exchange
* SB56 (Alquist), to Foster New Public Health Insurance Options
* AB1825 (De La Torre), to Phase-In Maternity Coverage as a Basic Benefit
* AB1600 (Beall), to Require Mental Health Parity in Health Coverage
* AB2244 (Feuer), to Limit Premiums for Children with Pre-existing Conditions
* SB1088 (Price), to Allow Young Adults up to Age 26 To Stay on Parental Coverage
* AB2042 (Feuer),to Limit Rate Hikes and Changes to Once a Year
* AB1503 (Lieu), to Prevent ER Doctor Overcharges for the Uninsured
* AB542 (Feuer), to Prevent Medi-Cal Payment for “Never Event” Medical Errors

As of this writing, one major piece of consumer protection legislation, AB2578(Jones) to institute rate regulation, still is pending, seeking the needed votes to pass the California Senate. We’ll keep you posted.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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