Last Chance in Assembly Health…

Assembly Health met today in what was the last chance for health related bills to move forward this year.

The following bills passed out of Committee and move forward in the process:

SB 51 (Alquist) which implements the Medical Loss Ratio requirements (that insurers spend 80-85% of premium dollars on actually delivering health care) in California law and gives the State enforcement authority.

SB 155 (Evans) which requires insurers in the individual market to provide women with equal access to basic health care by requiring coverage for maternity care. This is the only benefit mandate bill that moved forward this year.

SB 703 (Hernandez) creates a “Basic Health Plan” to cover adults between 133 and 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (they would otherwise be covered by the Exchange) as allowed under the Affordable Care Act. There was productive discussion around some of the concerns raised by advocates related to whether the program should be housed at the Department of Health Care Services or at the Exchange, and what impact that might have on the purchasing power of the Exchange. The author and stakeholders agreed to working together to find the most appropriate solution and the committee moved the bill forward.

Tomorrow promises an equally eventful Senate Health Committee meeting at 1:30pm. Most significantly, the committee will consider AB 1296 (Bonilla) related to streamlining eligibility, enrollment, and retention, and will vote on AB 52 (Feuer) related to Rate Regulation.

AB 52 is a very important measure that will protect California consumers from unreasonable or discriminatory health insurance rate increases. Please make your last minute calls tonight or tomorrow morning to members of the Senate Health Committee!

Democratic members of Senate Health are:

Senator Ed Hernandez (Chair)
Senator Elaine Alquist
Senator Kevin de León
Senator Mark DeSaulnier
Senator Michael Rubio
Senator Lois Wolk

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