SB 2281 by Assembly member Wilma Chan (D-Oakland) was rejected by the Assembly, 37-36 (StateNet, Subscription required). The bill would have limited out-of-pocket expenses for new high-deductible health insurance policies in the state to $5,250 for individuals and $10,500 for families and would have allowed for that limit to be increased in the future. In addition, the director of the Department of Managed Health Care and the insurance commissioner by July 1, 2007, would have been required to post information on their departments' Web sites that would help consumers evaluate health care coverage plans. In addition, the bill would have established standards and disclosure requirements for health plan policies beginning July 1, 2007 (Bill text, 5/24).
AB 2377 by Assembly member Wilma Chan (D-Oakland) was amended to require counties operating health coverage programs to use the funds they received to draw additional federal matching funds. The bill would allow counties to apply for additional funding from the state Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board for their health care programs until a statewide initiative is created that provides coverage to all children in families with incomes at or below 300% of the federal poverty level. The amended bill would repeal these provisions on Jan. 1, 2008, unless that date is extended by future legislation (Bill text, 5/26). The Assembly voted 52-36 to approve the bill and it now moves to the Senate (StateNet, Subscription required).
SB 1414 by Sen. Carole Migden (D-San Francisco) was amended to authorize the director of Industrial Relations to exempt an employer under certain circumstances from being required to pay into a health care program fund that would be created by the bill. The bill would require employers with more than 10,000 employees in California to spend a percentage of their payrolls on health care benefits. If employers spend less than the specified percentage, they would have to contribute the difference to the state to help fund public health insurance programs (Bill text, 5/26). The Senate passed the bill, 22-15, and it will move to the Assembly (StateNet, Subscription required).