More action from the Assembly floor, as two additional bills were approved in the California Assembly for a concurrence vote on Thursday, and now head to the Governor’s desk.
One was AB1600(Beall), to provide mental health parity. In floor debate, several GOP legislators questioned expanding what was required to be covered. Assemblymen Beall, Chesbro, and Saldana indicated that the bill had been narrowed, but still would ensure that patients had the security of having mental health coverage similarly as to physical health. Beyond the benefit to consumers directly, they arguedd it would also save money for state and local government, to provide early mental health treatment early rather than the range of health and human service interventions that become necessary later.
Another bill that passed was AB2244(Feuer), to ensure that children with pre-existing conditions have affordable access to coverage, by limiting how much they can be charged to twice the premium of a child without a pre-existing condition, within an open enrollment period around their birthday.
Both bills head to the Governor’s desk.
In other news, the Assembly Health Committee quickly considered and passed final amendments on two key transparency bills: SB890(Alquist), that standardizes the individual market, classifies and categorizes the products in the individual health insurance market so consumers can make better apples-to-apples comparisons; and SB1163(Leno), that doubles the notice period for rate hikes for consumers, and requires insurers to make public rate hikes, actuarial justifications, and the like. Both measures head to the full Assembly floor as early as today, Friday.
More to come, as always!