Legislature Passes Bill to Designate California’s Essential Health Benefit

August 29, 2012

(Sacramento, CA) – The California State Legislature passed Assembly Bill (AB) 1453, authored by Assemblymember Bill Monning (D-Carmel), landmark legislation that will establish California's essential health benefit (EHB) standard pursuant to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“With the passage of AB 1453, California is one step closer to the full implementation of federal health care reform," stated Assemblymember Monning. “For many, this action is transformative. This law will prioritize prevention, health and wellness while offering individuals and small businesses comprehensive and affordable healthcare coverage.”

Federal guidance under the ACA requires states to designate a benchmark plan for individual and small group health plan contracts, both inside and outside of health benefit exchanges, to cover EHBs by January 1, 2014. EHBs must include 10 general categories, such as ambulatory patient services, hospitalization, and maternity and newborn care. With the selection of Kaiser as the EHB, Californians will also have access to vision screening, tobacco cessation and acupuncture for pain and nausea.

The Assembly Floor concurred with the amendments taken in the Senate on a 46 to 25 vote and AB 1453 now moves to the Governor’s desk for his signature. Senate Bill 951 (Hernandez) is a companion to this measure.

Assemblymember Monning was first elected to represent the 27th Assembly District in 2008 and re-elected in 2010. The 27th Assembly District includes portions of Monterey, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties. Prior to his election to the Assembly, Assemblymember Monning was a professor at the Monterey College of Law and a Professor of International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Jody Fujii
(916) 319-2027
Teri Boughton
(916) 319-2097