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AB-341 CalHEERS: application for CalFresh.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/19/2019 09:00 PM
AB341:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 19, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 341


Introduced by Assembly Member Maienschein

January 31, 2019


An act to add Sections 15927 and 18901.56 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to public social services.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 341, as amended, Maienschein. CalHEERS: application for CalFresh.
Existing federal law provides for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known in California as CalFresh, under which supplemental nutrition assistance benefits allocated to the state by the federal government are distributed to eligible individuals by each county. Existing law requires the eligibility of households to be determined to the extent permitted by federal law. Existing law, if a county has entered into a memorandum of understanding, requires the county to determine CalFresh program eligibility for children whose information is shared with the county on the National School Lunch Program application and to treat that application as an application for CalFresh if the pupil is not already enrolled in CalFresh.
Existing law, the Health Care Reform Eligibility, Enrollment, and Retention Planning Act, requires the State Department of Health Care Services to develop a single, accessible, standardized electronic application for insurance affordability programs, now known as the California Healthcare Eligibility, Enrollment, and Retention System (CalHEERS), and would require, if CalHEERS has the ability to prepopulate an application form for insurance affordability programs with personal information from available electronic databases, an applicant to be given the option, with his or her their informed consent, to have the application form prepopulated.
Existing law establishes the Office of Systems Integration within the California Health and Human Services Agency and specifies the duties of that office, including implementing a statewide automated welfare system.
This bill would require the Office of Systems Integration to ensure that CalHEERS transfers an individual‘s individual’s application for health care benefits that is processed by CalHEERS to the county of residence of the individual if that individual is determined by CalHEERS to be potentially eligible for CalFresh benefits and the individual opts into applying for CalFresh benefits, as specified. The bill would require the office to collaborate with the State Department of Social Services to ensure that the application transferred via CalHEERS to a county for purposes of treatment as a CalFresh application meets all state and federal requirements necessary to qualify as a CalFresh application. The bill would require the county, upon receipt of the application received from CalHEERS, to treat the application as an application for CalFresh benefits and to process the application, as specified. To the extent that the bill would impose new duties on counties, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would also require the department to issue guidance to county human services agencies regarding the process by which a county human services agency is to consider a CalHEERS application as a CalFresh application.
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, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 15927 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

15927.
 (a) The Office of Systems Integration shall ensure that the California Healthcare Eligibility, Enrollment, and Retention System (CalHEERS), developed pursuant to Section 15926, transfers an individual’s application for health care benefits that is processed by CalHEERS to the county of residence of the individual if that individual is determined by CalHEERS to be potentially eligible for CalFresh benefits under Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 18900) of Part 6 and the individual opts into applying for CalFresh benefits pursuant to subdivision (b).

(b)The CalHEERs system shall include a step in the application process that includes an option for the individual described in subdivision (a) apply for CalFresh benefits by providing a statement, which includes the individual’s name and address, that the individual agrees apply for CalFresh benefits, and a button which the individual may click to apply, or another effective and efficient process that meets the federal requirements to receive CalFresh benefits. An individual who opts into applying for CalFresh benefits pursuant to this subdivision shall be deemed to have applied for CalFresh.

(b) The CalHEERS system shall include both of the following:
(1) Means for an applicant to opt into applying for CalFresh benefits while applying for health care benefits.
(2) An option for an applicant to provide an electronic signature, using the click of a button, in order to facilitate the use of a CalHEERS application as a CalFresh application.
(c) The Office of Systems Integration shall collaborate with the State Department of Social Services to ensure that the application transferred via CalHEERS to a county for purposes of treatment as a CalFresh application meets all state and federal requirements necessary to qualify as a CalFresh application.

SEC. 2.

 Section 18901.56 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

18901.56.
 (a) Upon receipt of the application transferred by the California Healthcare Eligibility, Enrollment, and Retention System (CalHEERS) pursuant to Section 15927, the county shall treat the application as an application for CalFresh benefits, and shall process the application in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(b) The department shall issue guidance to county human services agencies regarding the process by which a county human services agency shall consider a CalHEERS application as a CalFresh application.

SEC. 3.

  If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.