What Covered California is tracking in Sacramento

Last week Covered California’s Board of Directors received a briefing from Executive Director Peter Lee on relevant bills that should be tracked in 2015. The list includes 17 bills covering a variety of issues, though few have brought any action from the legislature at this time, with just one bill, SB 125 scheduled for a public hearing.

SB 125, introduced by Senate Health Committee Chair Senator Ed Hernandez (D-22), would require open enrollment periods for plans in individual and group markets to extend from November 1st of the preceding calendar year to January 31st of the plan year. This pushes back the current October 15th start date for California’s open enrollment period, but extends the current December 7th end date by over a month and a half. At this point the bill would not affect the Covered California’s open enrollment period, which extends from November 15th to February 22nd. The hearing has been scheduled for March 25th at 1:30pm in the Senate Health Committee.

Other bills tracked by Covered California include legislation that would pave the way for a Medi-Cal pilot project, coverage for undocumented immigrants, investigational drugs, and preventing certain nonprofit hospital corporations from marketing or selling health insurance.

With the cutoff being May 15th for bills to be heard and approved by the Health Committee, it is still too early to tell whether any of the bills of concern to Covered California will advance. State of Reform will continue to track these bills as the 2015 legislative session continues.