The Senate Health Committee on April 19 voted 5-4 to approve SB 1414 by Sen. Carole Migden (D-San Francisco). The bill would require employers with more than 10,000 employees in California -- who opt not to contribute the difference to Medi-Cal -- to spend a percentage of their payrolls on health care benefits. The bill also would create a fund to help finance Medi-Cal operations and services. The bill was re-referred to the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee, which scheduled a hearing for April 26.
AB 1952 by Assembly member Joe Nation (D-San Rafael) was amended on April 17 to increase the employee contribution to a proposed Essential Health Benefits Fund from 70% to 75% of the average of three plans available to the employee. The bill would require employers who do not offer health benefits to workers to contribute to the benefits fund, which the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board would administer. The bill would require the board to offer health care coverage to the uninsured. The amended bill also includes provisions for establishing electronic health records. An Assembly Health Committee hearing was scheduled for April 25.
AB 2281 by Assembly member Wilma Chan (D-Oakland) was amended on April 17 to require the Department of Managed Health Care to establish standards and disclosure requirements, relative to deductibles and other nonpremium expenses, for all health care plans. The bill originally applied only to high deductible health plans. The legislation also would require DMHC to develop a consumer guide on health insurance. An Assembly Health Committee hearing was scheduled for April 25.
SB 1639 by Sen. Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga) was amended on April 17 to specify that employers whose workers provide services in California would be able to receive tax credits of up to 15% of the amount employers paid for workers' health insurance coverage. A Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee hearing was scheduled for April 26.