As Deadline Nears, Lawmakers Pass Bills To Cover More Care
On Thursday, the Assembly approved a bill that would require insurers to cover maternity care and another bill that would require health plans to cover mental health treatment, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Both measures now are before Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). The Legislature faces a deadline ofÂ Aug. 31 to pass bills and send them to the governor.
Maternity Care Legislation
AB 1825, by Assembly member Hector De La Torre (D-South Gate), would require both group and private health insurance policies to offer maternity coverage.
The mandate would take effect July 1, 2011,Â and last until January 2014, when provisions of the federal health reform law kick in.
Mental Health Legislation
AB 1600, by Assembly member Jim Beall (D-San Jose), would require insurers to cover treatment for mental health issues, excluding nicotine addictions and certain other conditions.
Some Republicans expressed concern about how the mental health coverage would affect premiums. Beall said the legislation would add 25 cents to premiums each month (Walters, Sacramento Bee, 8/27).
Additional Health Care Bills
California lawmakers also are advancing several bills related to the federal health reform law and the health insurance industry. Summaries of some of the health-related bills working their way through the Legislature are provided below:
- SB 810, by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), would set up a single-payer health insurance system in California. The bill has passed the Senate and now is before the Assembly. Schwarzenegger previously vetoed two similar measures and is expected to reject the latest legislation.
- AB 2578, by Assembly members Dave Jones (D-Sacramento) and Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), would give state regulators the ability to reject health insurance premium hikes. The measure has passed the Assembly and now is before the Senate.
- AB 2110, by De La Torre, would lengthen the grace period for paying premiums to 50 days. The bill has passed the Assembly and now is before the Senate.
- AB 2042, by Feuer, would prevent insurance providers from raising their rates more than once annually. The measure has passed both houses of the Legislature and now will head to the governor (Calvan, Sacramento Bee, 8/27).
For additional coverage of health care legislation, see today's Capitol Desk post.
On Thursday, Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" reported on the state's health care legislation and cuts to health programs proposed in various budget plans (Sepulvado, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 8/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.