Senate OKs Bill To Create Low-Cost Alternative to Health Benefit Exchange
On Thursday, the California Senate voted 25-14 to pass a bill (SB 703), by Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), that would establish a low-cost health insurance plan for an estimated 723,000 Californians, the Whittier Daily News reports.
The bill aims to coincide with the federal health reform law, which calls for the creation of health insurance exchanges and allows states to create lower-cost alternatives to the exchanges, called "Basic Health Plans." The Basic Health Plans would provide coverage for residents with annual incomes between 133% and 200% of the federal poverty level.
SB 703 would establish such a Basic Health Plan in California. The program would receive 95% of its funding from existing federal money and the remaining funds would come from premiums paid by enrollees (Day, Whittier Daily News, 6/2).
Beneficiaries of California's Basic Health Plan could pay as little as $30 monthly for coverage under the program.
The legislation now moves to the Assembly (AP/Sacramento Bee, 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.