More Health Insurance Changes for California

We recently received an email with 2 new health insurance updates for California.
We couldn’t pick just one to post about, so we decided to summarize them both for you.


1. SB 1446 was signed signed by Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown, Jr. on July 07, 2014 and will provide some small employers (those with 50 or fewer employees) the option to renew their existing coverage for one year, rather than be required to move to new coverage by the end of 2014.

According to CAHU (the California Association of Health Underwriters):

Plans that meet this definition are now referred to as “grandmothered” plans. SB 1446 will permit these grandmothered plans to continue to renew until January 1, 2015 and those policies to remain in force until December 31, 2015. This change moves state law closer to recent federal policy changes allowing for a longer transition period to ACA-compliant policies.

SB 1446 only applies if the small business had not already purchased an ACA-compliant policy. Grandfathered plans (those in force prior to March 23, 2010) are not impacted by SB 1446. The small employer group policies affected by SB 1446 must still include many ACA and state-based mandated benefits such as preventative healthcare coverage without co-pays or deductibles, no lifetime caps on benefits, maternity care, coverage for autism and the elimination of gender discrimination in setting premiums.

2. Another piece of good news for California’s still looking for health insurance coverage is that the back log of Medi-Cal applications has dwindled by about one-third since May 2014 to about 600,000, and have pledge further cuts (to 350,000) within 6 weeks.

According to Los Angeles Times’ Eryn Brown:

Since the launch of Affordable Care Act enrollments, an enormous influx of new applications for Medi-Cal has stymied state computer systems, making it difficult for counties, which are supposed to process applications for coverage within 45 days, to provide decisions on coverage to applicants.

Unlike Covered California, the state-run medical insurance marketplace that operates with set enrollment periods, Medi-Cal applications are accepted year-round. The backlog represents an ever-changing, rolling population whose paperwork is pending.

Without these 2 improvements, healthcare advocates are concerned because some patients who are unsure of their coverage status avoid seeking necessary medical care.

How are you doing with your health insurance coverage?

Do either of these changes affect you?

Please share your stories in the comments section below, on our facebook page, or by reaching out more privately using the confidential form below.

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