While California has gotten national attention (with a front-page article in the New York Times) about its efforts to maximize the benefits of the Affordable Care Act for our state, over a dozen bills are pending on Governor Brown’s desk that would put in place the new consumer protections and otherwise implement health reform, so the state is ready in 2014 to take advantage of the new benefits.
Governor Brown has less than a week to either sign or veto the bills left on his desk, including those that would take the next step in implementing the Affordable Care Act.
The federal law provides new tools, resources, and a framework for historic improvements in our health care and coverage–but it’s up to the state to make reform real, so that Californians are no longer denied for pre-existing conditions, that new consumer protections are enforced, and that Californians are informed and enrolled in their new coverage options.
Two bills, AB1461 and SB961, would ban pre-existing condition denials and make these important reforms to the individual health insurance market in California. While this is already in federal law, California needs to put these rules in state law to be enforced. Some insurers are opposing these bills, and seeking a veto which would delay the work of implementing health reform in California.
Please call Governor Brown today and ask him to sign AB1461 and SB961.
PLEASE CALL (916) 445-2841 and tell the Governor’s staff that you support the important reforms to the insurance market that will ensure that health insurance will be there for those who need it, when they need it.
We need all the bills—to implement health reform, to set strong standards for “essential benefits,” to better inform people about their new coverage options—to be signed.
Send the Governor a note: You can click here to complete a webform on the Governor’s website, or you can fax a note to (916) 558-3160.
We have less than a week, until the end of September, to get the Governor to sign this important legislation. We need your help to help make quality, affordable health care a reality in California.
CALL GOVERNOR BROWN TODAY: (916)445-2841. Urge him to sign AB1461, SB961, and the rest of the bills to implement health reform in California.
You can also find out more about other key California legislation related to health care reform here.
Governor Jerry Brown now has the month of September to sign or veto these bills. The Governor has also called for a special session of the legislature, beginning in December with a newly-elected Assembly and Senate, to deal with final health reform implementation issues prior to 2014.
Selected Health Reform Bills On the Governor’s Desk
Here’s a list of health reform-related bills implementing the Affordable Care Act heading to the Governor’s desk for his consideration. This list is also available as a one-page fact sheet on the Health Access website. Supporters should letters and make calls to the Governor ASAP. The bills are:
Insurance Market Reforms and Consumer Protections
AB1453 (Monning) ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS: Protects consumers from underinsurance and junk insurance by requiring health plans regulated in the Health and Safety Code to cover a set of minimum essential health benefits equivalent to the Kaiser Small Group HMO.
SB951 (Hernandez) ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS: Protects consumers from underinsurance and junk insurance by requiring health plans regulated in the Insurance Code to cover a set of minimum essential health benefits equivalent to the Kaiser Small Group HMO.
AB1461 (Monning) REFORMING THE INDIVIDUAL MARKET: Prevents insurers from denying or discriminating for pre-existing conditions, and otherwise conforms the Health and Safety Code to the ACA and phases-in new insurance market rules for individuals who purchase insurance on their own. Limits different premiums based on age to 3:1.
SB961 (Hernandez) REFORMING THE INDIVIDUAL MARKET: Prevents insurers from denying or discriminating for pre-existing conditions, and otherwise conforms the Insurance Code to the ACA and phases-in new insurance market rules for individuals who purchase insurance on their own. Limits different premiums based on age to 3:1.
AB1083 (Monning) REFORMING THE SMALL GROUP MARKET: Conform to federal law and phase-in new insurance market rules for small businesses, particularly so that small employers don’t get additional premium spikes based on the health of their workforce.
AB792 (Bonilla) COVERAGE OPTIONS DURING LIFE CHANGES: Ensures that Californians can easily sign up for coverage during key life changes. Requires California consumers are provided information about the coverage options and subsidies at the new Exchange upon filing for divorce, separation, adoption, or when losing group coverage through job change or other life circumstances.
SB970 (DeLeon) ENROLLMENT INTEGRATION WITH HUMAN SERVICES: Helps individuals applying for public programs apply through an integrated no wrong door approach, whether applicants are interested in social services or health programs.