Senator Hernandez’ Bill to Ban Junk Insurance in California Goes to the Governor

Senate Bill 910, authored by Senator Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), passed the Senate Floor with bipartisan support and now heads to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk. SB 910 will ban junk insurance, also known as “short-term” plans, in California.

Earlier this month, the Trump Administration’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued final regulations to extend “short-term” plans from three months to up to three years. These short-term plans do not have to cover essential health benefits, like cancer treatment, substance use treatment, or maternity care. Additionally, these plans can deny coverage altogether for those with pre-existing conditions. See Senator Hernandez’ response to this announcement, here.

SB 910 was originally introduced in response to the Trump Administration’s proposed regulations in February to expand short term limited duration coverage to less than 12 months. An issue brief released by the Urban Institute in March of 2018 indicates that in 2019 average individual market premiums would increase approximately 18% in the states that do not prohibit or limit these plans and because of the lack of enforcement of the individual mandate.

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