Senate Health Committee – 8/21/13

Today, the Senate Committee on Health took up AB 50 (Pan), a follow-up bill to the Medi-Cal expansion signed last month. AB 50 expands the Medi-Cal benefit package to Medi-Cal-eligible pregnant women with family incomes under 100 percent of the federal poverty level to full scope Medi-Cal benefits and makes other technical changes. As characterized by Assemblymember Pan, AB 50 is a clean-up bill to the Medi-Cal expansion bills that were enacted several weeks ago, AB X1 1(John A. Perez), Chapter 3, Statutes of 2013-14, and SB X1 1(Hernandez and Steinberg), Chapter 4, Statutes of 2013-14.

Health Access testified in support and expressed that AB 50 (Pan) will ensure low-income pregnant women have full scope benefits that provide for comprehensive coverage, instead of pregnancy-only coverage for certain women under existing law.

For context, AB X1 1 (Perez) and SB X1 1 (Hernandez and Steinberg) originally proposed to provide full scope Medi-Cal coverage to pregnant women up to 200 percent of the FPL, but these provisions were removed from the final legislative package so that additional time could be given to instead provide a benefit and affordability wrap for pregnant women with incomes between 100 and 200 percent of the FPL who are currently eligible for pregnancy-only Medi-Cal and who may also be eligible for premium and cost-sharing subsidies in Covered California.  A prior version of AB 50 (Pan) included this benefit and affordability wrap, but was later removed, as Assemblymember Pan expressed, due to some stakeholder opposition.

Groups who also testified in support include, California Welfare Director’s Association (CWDA), Western Center on Law and Poverty (WCLP), United Nurses Association of Nurses-AFSCME (UNAC), Planned Parenthood, California Primary Clinics Association (CPCA).

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