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SB 1005 (Lara)
Health care coverage: immigration status.

Existing law, the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), requires each state to establish an American Health Benefit Exchange that facilitates the purchase of qualified health plans by qualified individuals and qualified small employers, and meets certain other requirements. PPACA specifies that an individual who is not a citizen or national of the United States or an alien lawfully present in the United States shall not be treated as a qualified individual and may not be covered under a qualified health plan offered through an exchange. Existing law creates the California Health Benefit Exchange for the purpose of facilitating the enrollment of qualified individual and qualified small employers in qualified health plans as required under PPACA.

Existing law governs health care service plans and insurers. A violation of the provisions governing health care service plans is a crime.

This bill would create the California Health Exchange Program for All Californians within state government and would require that the program be governed by the executive board that governs the California Health Benefit Exchange. The bill would specify the duties of the board relative to the program and would require the board to, by January 1, 2016, facilitate the enrollment into qualified health plans of individuals who are not eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal coverage and would have been eligible to purchase coverage through the Exchange but for their immigration status. The bill would require the board to provide premium subsidies and cost-sharing reductions to eligible individuals that are the same as the premium assistance and cost-sharing reductions the individuals would have received through the Exchange. The bill would create the California Health Trust Fund For All Californians as a continuously appropriated fund, thereby making an appropriation, would require the board to assess a charge on qualified health plans, and would make the implementation of the program’s provisions contingent on a determination by the board that sufficient financial resources exist or will exist in the fund. The bill would enact other related provisions.

The bill would require health care services plans and health insurers to fairly and affirmatively offer, market, and sell in the Exchange at least one product within each of 5 levels of coverage, as specified. Because a violation of the requirements imposed on health care service plans would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Existing law provides for the Medi-Cal program, which is administered by the State Department of Health Care Services, under which qualified low-income individuals receive health care services. The Medi-Cal program is, in part, governed and funded by federal Medicaid Program provisions. The federal Medicaid Program provisions prohibit payment to a state for medical assistance furnished to an alien who is not lawfully admitted for permanent residence or otherwise permanently residing in the United States under color of law.

This bill would extend eligibility for full-scope Medi-Cal benefits to individuals who are otherwise eligible for those benefits but for their immigration status. The bill would require that benefits for those services be provided with state-only funds only if federal financial participation is not available. Because counties are required to make Medi-Cal eligibility determinations and this bill would expand Medi-Cal eligibility, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

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Bill Text

Bill Location
  • Senate Committee Sen Appropriations

  • Last Action:
  • 05/23/14: Held in committee and under submission.

  • Bill Analysis
  • No analysis found.
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