Several Health-Related Pieces of Legislation Await Brown’s Decision
Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is considering several health care-related bills that have been passed by the Legislature, California Watch reports.
Some of the bills would align the state with provisions of the federal health reform law and help California residents navigate new insurance options under the reform law.
Brown must act on the measures byÂ Oct. 9. Descriptions of the bills are below.
Enrollment Assistance Bill
AB 1296, by Assembly member Susan Bonilla (D-Concord), would help ensure that individuals who qualify for new programs under the health reform law understand the types of coverage for which they are eligible.
Patient Advocate Bill
AB 922, by Assembly member Bill Monning (D-Carmel), aims to revamp the Office of the Patient Advocate to serve as a central source of information for Californians with complaints or questions about health care services and coverage.
Medical-Loss Ratio Bill
SB 51, by Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara), would require health insurers in the large group market to spend 85% of premium dollars on services to patients.
The bill would replicate federal rules on the medical-loss ratio, which is the proportion of premium dollars that insurers allocate for patient care.
Maternity Coverage Bill
SB 222, by Alquist and Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), would require insurers to cover maternity care about 18 months ahead of the reform law regulation that deems such care to be an "essential benefit" for insurers to cover by 2014 (Jewett, California Watch, 9/28).
Surgery Center Bill
SB 100, by Sen. Curren Price (D-Inglewood), would prohibit outpatient surgery centers that lose private accreditation because of safety violations from applying to another accrediting firm to seek approval to operate.
The bill also would require the state medical board to record on its website whenever a surgery center is placed on probation or has its accreditation revoked or suspended (Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times, 9/28).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.