Arizona legislators prefile bills for AHCCCS covered services and vaccination mandates

Arizona legislators have prefiled another batch of health bills ahead of the 2022 session, concerning topics such as vaccination mandates and Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) covered services. Here are some more bills we’ll be watching ahead of the legislature’s reconvening on Jan. 10.

House Bill (HB) 2029

  • HB 2029 was introduced on Dec. 29 by Rep. Walter Blackman (R – Scottsdale).
  • This bill would prohibit the state and it’s governmental entities and business affiliations from requiring a person to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, discriminating against a person for not receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, and entering a contract with a business affiliation that requires a person to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. 
  • An exception would be made for health care institutions that are treating patients with COVID-19 and that “determine that a direct threat exists that cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation.” The bill states a health care institution will determine whether an employee poses a direct threat based on an “individualized assessment,” which would be based on reasonable medical judgment that relies on the most current medical knowledge, to assess their ability to perform their job safely. 

HB 2031

  • HB 2031 was introduced on Monday by Rep. Michelle Udall (R – Mesa). 
  • This bill would require universities under the jurisdiction of the Arizona Board of Regents and community colleges to enforce policies requiring sufficient documentation from prospective students to establish that an individual has a disability. 
  • This documentation would entail records that the individual has had an individualized education program in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or evaluations from a licensed professional indicating the individual has a disability. The bill stipulates that this information be communicated to students, parents, and faculty in accessible formats.

Senate Bill (SB) 1077

  • The bill was introduced on Wednesday by Sen. Nancy Barto (R – Scottsdale).
  • This bill would add medically necessary chiropractic services provided by licensed chiropractors and ordered by a primary care physician or practitioner to the list of covered services by AHCCCS.

HB 2043

  • The bill was introduced on Thursday by Reps. Quang Nguyen (R – Prescott), Leo Biasiucci (R – Lake Havasu City), Blackman, Shawnna Bolick (R – Phoenix), Frank Carroll (R – Sun City West), Neal Carter (R – San Tan Valley), Joseph Chaplik (R – Scottsdale), David Cook (R – Globe), Lupe Diaz (R – Hereford), Jake Hoffman (R – Queen Creek), Steve Kaiser (R – Phoenix), and Justin Wilmeth (R – Phoenix).
  • This bill would make employers that deny a religious COVID-19 vaccination exemption, and require a person to receive the vaccination to maintain employment, liable for any significant injuries that occur as a result of the vaccination. 
  • The claimant would be awarded actual damages, court costs, and reasonable attorney fees, or statutory damages of $500,000 depending on whichever cost is greater.