Assembly Approves Bill Requiring Prior Approval of Insurance Rate Hikes
On Wednesday, the Assembly voted 43-28 to pass a bill (AB 2578), by Assembly member Dave Jones (D-Sacramento), that would require health insurers to obtain prior approval before raising premiums, copayments or deductibles, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports (Sanders, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 6/2).
Under the bill, HMOs and other health care plans would need to secure approval from the Department of Managed Health Care or the Department of Insurance before instituting rate hikes (Weintraub, HealthyCal, 6/2).
The bill received no Republican support. It now goes to the Senate for consideration ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 6/2).
Assembly Approves Maternity Coverage Bill
Also on Wednesday, the Assembly voted 48-25 to pass a bill (AB 1825), by Assembly member Hector De La Torre (D-South Gate), that would require health insurers to offer maternity coverage in all health plans, the AP/Ventura County Star reports.
The bill targets health plans in the individual insurance market,Â because theyÂ often levy a surcharge for maternity coverage.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration (AP/Ventura County Star, 6/2).
Senate Approves Medical Parole Bill
Meanwhile, the Senate on Wednesday voted 21-13 to pass a bill (SB 1399), by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), that would grant medical parole to inmates who are incapacitated and pose no risk to public safety, the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports.
The bill is expected to reduce state spending by $200 million annually.
J. Clark Kelso -- the federal court-appointed receiver charged with overseeing California's prison health care system -- isÂ supporting passage of the measure (Thompson, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 6/2).Senate RepublicansÂ voted againstÂ SB 1399 (McGreevy/Dolan, Los Angeles Times, 6/3).Â The measure now goes to the Assembly for consideration (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 6/2). 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.