Governor Signs Leyva Bill Ensuring Continued Health Care Coverage for Californians

SB 1245 Allows Covered California to Promptly Respond to Federal Actions

Monday, September 17, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation authored by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) that will help Covered California continue to serve over 1.5 million California residents during this era of federal uncertainty.

SB 1245 will allow Covered California to have emergency rulemaking authority for nearly all of its regulatory packages until January 1, 2022.  This legislation will also ensure that there will be enough time for the public to review and comment on the proposed regulations ahead of them being adopted by the Covered California Board of Directors.

“It is vital that Californians receiving health care coverage through Covered California and the Affordable Care Act are not endangered due to actions at the federal level,” Senator Leyva said.  “SB 1245 will allow Covered California to promptly respond to any potential regulation conflicts with federal law so that there is continuity of care for the over one million Californians that rely on the exchange for health care coverage.  I thank Governor Brown for supporting this important legislation that reinforces California’s commitment to providing affordable health care for our state’s residents.”

Since 2010, Covered California has made a deliberate effort to move to permanent regulations and has approved four permanent rulemaking packages.  As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) stabilized, it was expected that Covered California would continue to effectively transition to the permanent rulemaking process.  However, current federal policy discussions regarding the ACA indicate that there will potentially be significant changes to the rules governing health benefit exchanges, like Covered California.  Due to potential future changes to the ACA and other related regulations, SB 1245 will allow Covered California to create and adapt regulations more quickly than is possible through the permanent rulemaking process.

Taking effect on January 1, 2019, SB 1245 was supported by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, Consumers Union, Health Access California and Western Center on Law and Poverty during the legislative process.