The Wait is Over

Governor Brown Signs 90-Day Waiting Period Bill

On Friday, August 15th, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law legislation that better aligns California’s health coverage waiting period requirements with federal law.

In September 2012 the Governor signed AB 1083 that conformed California state law to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act law. AB 1083 did not match the federal law in every aspect, one in particular being the employee waiting period for health coverage. The state law, as written and signed, only allowed California employers to have a maximum waiting period of 60 days from date of hire. This 60 day limitation, for the most part, gave employers an option of a maximum waiting period in place of First of the Month following 1 Month. The average employer had a waiting period of First of the Month following 90 Days or 3 Months, so this new limitation that the PPACA put in place was already going to be a change and burden for many employers. And AB 1083 in California made the provision even worse.

The California Association of Health Underwriters (CAHU) was the organization that spotted the problem with California’s non-conformity with the employer waiting period requirements. CAHU fought hard and stayed the course over the past almost two years to correct this law. As a CAHU member, and as the President of the Orange County chapter, I am so pleased with the signing of Senate Bill (SB) 1034, authored by Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel).

SB 1034 is a product of numerous discussions among state regulators, small business groups, health insurance organizations, consumer organizations and CAHU to provide clarity on the allowable waiting periods.

We now wait to see when existing businesses will be able to take advantage of the new waiting period regulations. BeaconPath will keep you updated as we hear from the carriers. Stay tuned.

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