California Healthcare Reform Update

California’s rate regulation bill, A.B. 52 was moved to “Inactive File” in the Senate on September 1. It required prior approval for rate increases, including revisions to co-pay or deductible amounts. Opponents of the bill included carriers, brokers and providers. The cost was to be about $30 million, and since California was already 10% below its projected revenue for the year the state was in no position for any added costs to the budget.

CAHU remains involved in stakeholder meetings to implement the exchange. Stakeholders are not objecting to broker involvement in the SHOP and possibly the individual exchange. The state has received $39 million in grant money for “Phase I” of their exchange development work.

Pending legislation requiring carriers to auto-enroll people into the exchange upon job loss (A.B. 792) was “Held on Suspense” on August 25. CAHU opposes the bill. The bill eliminates the need for brokers and for navigators in all such situations, which are numerous. Loss of a job is a crucial time for such persons to have the advice and counsel of licensed, experienced brokers.

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