Is California Health Insurance Different In 2012?
California Governor Jerry Brown has signed several new laws that are geared to expand
consumer protection for consumers shopping for California health insurance. The census data indicates that almost one in five Californians need health care coverage. With the new health care laws ready to be implemented, they are predicting that these laws could make 2012 a memorable year.
New California Health Insurance Law For Women
In 2012, women will gain more protection whether they choose to get coverage through employer-provided health insurance plans or buy an individual health insurance plan. Brown signed three bills into law in order to provide maternity services for pregnant women and new mothers. According to Brown, this is will give children the "best possible start."
Another date women should watch for in the next year will be on the 1st of July. SB 222 requires individual California health insurance plans to provide maternity services. Also beginning July 1, AB 210 will provide maternity services to group health care plans. Employers will be required to pay for coverage under group health plans for women on maternity leave under SB 29.
Are Small Businesses Affected Too?
According to the chief executive of the advocacy group Small Business Majority, small business firms with employees less than 50 will find that healthcare coverage is more affordable under the new laws in California. That is very significant because approximately 718,220 small employers in California make up 99.2 percent of California's employers in 2006, as stated by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce: Bureau of the Census.
Whether Californians get coverage through their employer or buy individual policies, they could be eligible for "rebates" next year. To comply with federal reform, SB 51 requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of premiums from individuals and small firms on health care for members. As for group policies, 85 percent of premiums must be spent on members' health care.
Blue Shield Of California Will Distribute Rebates To Consumers
Just this summer, Blue Shield of California announced that it would cap its net earning at two percent of revenue and return the excess to their policy holders in the form of rebates. With more than three million California health insurance plan holders, Blue Shield posted a profit margin of 3.1 percent last year. This included income derived from investments. According to a press release from Blue Shield, individual consumer credits range from $25 to $415. Businesses should receive approximately $110 to $130 per worker.
Subsidies For California Health Insurance Made Easier
Gov. Jerry Brown also signed bills that will make it easier for Californians to apply for subsidized California health insurance via the online state health insurance exchange. However, we have to wait until 2014 when it will be fully implemented. Under AB 1296, the forms and procedures needed to get subsidies through the state based exchanged are tackled.
by: Wiley Long
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