In October, amid the myriad of bills signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, was a bill to make California the first state in the country to allow adult children to add qualifying parents or step parents to their health insurance coverage.
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Assembly Bill 570, otherwise known as the “Parent Healthcare Act,” was authored by Asm. Miguel Santiago and introduced in February. The bill was sponsored by the California Department of Insurance (CDI) and supported by organizations such as California Health Advocates and immigrant groups who have fought to improve access to health care for undocumented citizens. The bill specifically targets those who do not qualify for Medicare and cannot afford health insurance, including immigrant families where the children are documented citizens, but their parents are not.
However, the bill also underwent major opposition from Democrats and Republicans alike, as well as the California Chamber of Commerce and other financial groups concerned about the insurance premium increases for employers. Santiago made several amendments to the bill so that it no longer applied to employer-sponsored plans, only to health plans on the individual market.
In a statement provided to State of Reform, Santiago commented on how this bill will impact California families.
“AB 570 brings California one step closer to providing health care for all by allowing adult children to add their dependent parents to their health insurance. This helps working families to save money by combining healthcare costs on one plan. This is also an option for mixed-status families or working families with a disabled parent at home who doesn’t qualify for other safety-net programs like Social Security or Medicare.”
He emphasized that families can use the cost-savings provided by the bill on other necessities like food and rent.
The bill will go into effect Jan. 1, 2023.