On September 22nd and September 24th, Governor Brown signed into law SB 1384 and SB 1091 into law.
Both bills were delivered to the Governor ‘s office on Sept 9th and he had until Sept 30 to sign or veto the bills (it would go into law if he did neither). The bill received unanimous support in the legislature, but the Governor could have been skeptical, as in the past, especially when it come to the task force requirement.
We were not able to get “major changes” into the bill. Both the California Department of Insurance (CDI) and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) offered suggestions up until the last minute. However, the author would not take any major changes without fear of a veto, and what she took pushed us right up against the deadline.
Basically, the bill does the following:
- Requires the Partnership to offer a low-cost inflation option (but does not prescribe the option)
- Requires the Partnership to certify qualifying home care only plans with required coverage for monitoring equipment if the insurer want to offer it.
- Explicitly authorizes CDI to approve home care and residential care policies (Home, Community & RCF only policies)
- Establishes the task force for two year and promote the programs to redirect the educational/marketing fund to administer it.
Now that the Governor has signed the bill, we would like to keep the conversation going. A list is being prepared to include proposed items for discussion for the legislative session next year that includes some of the CDI’s suggestions including expedited policy approval process.
In addition to the signing of SB1384, SB1091 was signed to address the “nebulous” term and benefit better known as the “alternate plan of care” benefit.
This gesture evolved during the time when most companies were still focusing on “Nursing Home” only policies but because of consumer “fear” associated with Nursing Home and it’s coverage back the late 80’s companies began to play the game of semantics by calling Nursing Home Only policies to Long-Term Care policies.
So when regulators and consumer advocates began to question the carriers on the differences between “Nursing Home only coverage” vs long-term care coverage to justify that Nursing Home only plan new title (LTCI) the carriers “highlighted” this new feature call the “Alternate Plan of Care benefit” that essentially stated “unless you would otherwise be institutionalized (in a nursing home), we the carrier will or may consider an “Alternative” depending upon you, your doctor and “we” the carrier.
Well, unfortunately many carriers used that “we” reference as the basis to decline the “Alternative” plan of care/coverage.
It is unfortunate that we have to still deal with these outdated antiquated benefits, but SB1091 attempts to define it.
Learn and better understand what these bills mean to you and your clients and how they will change, improve and make more affordable long-term care insurance as well as expand and enhance the attractiveness of the California Partnership, attend our upcoming California Partnership classes to maintain your “Certification.”
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