Existing law, the Reproductive Privacy Act, prohibits the state from denying or interfering with a person's right to choose or obtain an abortion prior to viability of the fetus, or when the abortion is necessary to protect the life or health of the person. The act defines "abortion" as a medical treatment intended to induce the termination of a pregnancy except for the purpose of producing a live birth.
Existing law also establishes the Medi-Cal program, which is administered by the State Department of Health Care Services, under which qualified low-income individuals receive health care services through, among other things, managed care plans licensed under the act that contract with the State Department of Health Care Services.
Existing law, the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975, requires the Department of Managed Health Care to license and regulate health care service plans and makes a willful violation of the act a crime. Existing law also requires the Department of Insurance to regulate health insurers. Existing law requires group and individual health care service plan contracts and disability insurance policies to cover contraceptives, without cost sharing, as specified.
This bill would prohibit a health care service plan or an individual or group policy or certificate of health insurance or student blanket disability insurance that is issued, amended, renewed, or delivered on or after January 1, 2023, from imposing a deductible, coinsurance, copayment, or any other cost-sharing requirement on coverage for all abortion and abortion-related services, as specified. The bill would prohibit a health care service plan and an insurer subject to these requirements from imposing utilization management or utilization review on the coverage for outpatient abortion services. The bill would require that for a contract, certificate, or policy that is a high deductible health plan, the cost-sharing prohibition would apply once the enrollee's or insured's deductible has been satisfied for the benefit year. The bill would not require an individual or group contract or policy to cover an experimental or investigational treatment. The bill's requirements would also apply to Medi-Cal managed care plans and their providers, independent practice associations, preferred provider groups, and all delegated entities that provide physician services, utilization management, or utilization review. The bill would require the Department of Managed Health Care and the Department of Insurance to adopt related regulations on or before January 1, 2026.
Because a violation of the bill by a health care service plan would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.