SACRAMENTO – Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) introduced legislation on Feb. 12 to help Californians keep health coverage during life transitions.
SB 260 will require health plans and insurers to give consumers who lose their coverage for any reason notices of the availability of Medi-Cal and Covered California coverage. The bill will also make it easier for Covered California to reach out to consumers, who have lost their coverage to help minimize gaps in their coverage.
“SB 260 is a critical piece of legislation for communities in the Central Valley and throughout California,” said Senator Hurtado. “Experiencing life transitions is inevitable, particularly in the Valley where communities face poverty at an alarming rate. This bill’s proactive approach eliminates the extra step for someone who is undergoing a transition in their life by ensuring that they maintain health coverage,” continued Senator Hurtado.
Today, many people who buy coverage as individuals actually cycle in and out of that coverage over a short period of time. For example, more than half of the 1.4 million people that buy coverage through Covered California actually leave because they gain other health coverage either from their new jobs or through Medi-Cal. With 4 million Californians estimated to be uninsured in 2020, SB 260 reduces these coverage gaps which can lead to long-term negative impacts on health and family finances.
“When someone loses Medi-Cal, they don’t have enough time to enroll in a Covered California plan that will start when their Medi-Cal ends. This legislation will help ensure consumers don’t face gaps in coverage just because they start earning a little more money,” said Jen Flory, Policy Advocate for Western Center on Law and Poverty.
“This legislation helps ensure that a pay raise doesn't inadvertently lead to a gap in health coverage. When Californians make a change in their lives and income, whether moving to a new home, getting married, or losing a job, this bill ensures that consumers can get the direct help they need to re-enroll in health care coverage." said Anthony Wright, Executive Director of Health Access California. "Keeping Californians consumers covered during life transitions helps not just the insured individual and family but the whole health system work better.”