With a potential dismantling of the Affordable Care Act still looming, California is taking steps to ensure no one is left behind when it comes to health care. It comes with a big sticker price, though: $4 billion, half of which would come from re-purposing existing federal, state and local funds, and the other $2 billion from new taxes.
SB 562 Healthy California, a proposal for a single-payer health-care plan, was passed in June by the California Senate. The state Assembly still needs to approve the plan, as does the governor. A budget will need to be developed and a board of nine health-care experts will need to be in place for authority and oversight. Ultimately, this will not become operative until the state has the revenue to fund the costs for implementation.
The proposal is radical and will change the environment for California’s health care — covering every resident, regardless of immigration status — with enrolled participants not having to pay premiums, co-pays or deductibles. With this big of a change, it is uncertain how it will be implemented and maintained. For now, we have a fully operational marketplace, CoveredCA, which allows residents to obtain quotes and compare health-insurance plans online. Although ACA subsidies may go away, CoveredCA is still accessible for those needing individual health care coverage.
A step in the right direction? Some say so. At least we are taking action rather than sitting on the sidelines. You gotta love California!
If you have questions about how to ensure you are on top of employee benefits, e-mail me.