California AB 98 & Individual/Family Health Plans

Happy Thursday! One more day to go then the weekend.

The California legislature is currently working on a new bill, AB 98, which, if passed and signed into law, will make a significant change to California individual health coverage.

The bill would require all individual & family health insurance plans in California, whether registered with the DMHC or the DOI, to contain mandatory maternity benefits. As I interpret the bill, any plan sold in 2010 would have to contain maternity benefits, and any plan sold prior to 2010 would be adjusted to include maternity at plan renewal.

Many Californians currently covered on individual & family plans have chosen plans without maternity benefits to save premium. Maternity benefits on a health plan are assumed at 100% utilization, meaning that all plans with maternity benefits are priced with the expectation that every subscriber will use the benefit. Those who do not need maternity coverage would lose the choice of purchasing a non-maternity health plan and the premium savings that go along with it.

I will update as this bill moves through the Assembly.

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