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AB-1829 California Health Benefit Exchange: employees and contractors.(2013-2014)

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AB1829:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 21, 2014

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1829


Introduced by Assembly Member Conway
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Hagman, Harkey, Olsen, Wagner, and Wilk)

February 18, 2014


An act to add Section 100522 to the Government Code, relating to health care coverage, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1829, as amended, Conway. California Health Benefit Exchange: employees and contractors.
The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires each state to establish an American Health Benefits Exchange that makes available qualified health plans to qualified individuals and small employers. Existing state law establishes the California Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) within state government, specifies the powers and duties of the board governing the Exchange, and requires the board to facilitate the purchase of qualified health plans through the Exchange by qualified individuals and small employers by January 1, 2014. Existing law requires the board to employ necessary staff and authorizes the board to enter into contracts. Existing law requires the board to submit to the Department of Justice fingerprint images and related information of specified individuals whose duties include or would include access to specified information for the purposes of obtaining prescribed criminal history information.
The bill would prohibit the board from hiring or contracting with a person, including an employee or prospective employee, who has been convicted of specified crimes if the person’s duties would involve facilitating enrollment in qualified health plans or would give the person access to the financial or medical information of enrollees or potential enrollees of the Exchange. The bill would also require a person who has filed an application for employment with the Exchange to notify the Exchange of any prescribed misdemeanor or felony convictions, filing of misdemeanor or felony charges, or administrative actions that occur after submitting his or her application.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The mission of the California Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) is to increase the number of insured Californians.
(b) According to the Exchange, the Assisters Program is designed to target populations in California’s vast, geographically diverse mix of rural and urban communities, estimated at 4,000,000 eligible individuals: 100,000 in northern California and Sierra counties, 130,000 in the Sacramento area, 390,000 in the greater bay area, 250,000 in the San Joaquin Valley, 140,000 in the central coast, 780,000 in Los Angeles, and another 750,000 in southern California.
(c) According to the Exchange, the Assisters Program is designed to target populations within the estimated 4,000,000 eligible individuals that are ethnically diverse: 1,880,000 estimated to be Hispanic, 1,340,000 Caucasian, 470,000 Asian, and 210,000 African American.
(d) According to the Exchange, the Assisters Program will conduct outreach, education, marketing, and enrollment for the Exchange to reach the estimated 4,000,000 eligible individuals.
(e) The Assisters Program is expected to both promote maximum enrollment of individuals into coverage, and ensure that assisters are knowledgeable of both subsidized and nonsubsidized health care coverage and qualified health plans and are equipped with the information and expertise needed to successfully enroll individuals into coverage.
(f) The Exchange will use individual assisters, in-person assisters, and navigators in the Assisters Program to accomplish these goals.
(g) Individual assisters, in-person assisters, and navigators will, necessarily, have access to eligible individuals’ personal identifying information, including social security numbers, personal health information, and state and federal tax information, to enroll over 4,000,000 Californians in health insurance programs.
(h) Agents and brokers, health insurers, and other entities that currently handle applications for health care coverage and the applicant’s sensitive, personal information are required to be licensed by the Department of Insurance.
(i) The Department of Insurance, by law, is authorized to require applicants for licensure to pass background checks, including fingerprinting, as a condition of licensure.
(j) It is in the public’s interest that eligible individuals purchasing health care coverage through the services of an individual assister, in-person assister, or navigator have the same reasonable expectation of privacy protections afforded to Californians purchasing health care coverage through a private agent or broker.
(k) It is the intent of the Legislature to advance the public’s interest in protecting and safeguarding eligible individuals from the unauthorized and illegal access to, or disclosure of, their personal identifying information, personal health information, or federal tax information when the Exchange enrolls customers into health care plans for coverage.

SEC. 2.

 Section 100522 is added to the Government Code, immediately following Section 100521, to read:

100522.
 (a) The board shall not hire or contract with any person, including, but not limited to, all employees, prospective employees, contractors, subcontractors, volunteers, or vendors, whose duties would include facilitating enrollment in qualified health plans offered through the Exchange or would give the person access to the financial or medical information of enrollees or potential enrollees of the Exchange if the person has been convicted of any of the following:
(1) A felony crime of dishonesty or breach of trust in a state or federal jurisdiction.
(2) A violation of Section 1033 of Title 18 of the United States Code.
(3) A crime included in Section 2183.2 of Title 10 of the California Code of Regulations.
(b) A person who has applied for employment with the Exchange for a position where, in the course and scope of his or her employment, he or she will have access to the financial or medical information of enrollees or potential enrollees of the Exchange shall immediately notify the Exchange upon any misdemeanor or felony conviction, any filing of misdemeanor or felony charges in state or federal court, any administrative action regarding a professional or occupational license, or any conviction listed in subdivision (a), if the action occurs after an application has been submitted.

SEC. 3.

  This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to protect and safeguard customers enrolling in qualified health plans offered through the California Health Benefit Exchange from the unauthorized and illegal access to, or disclosure of, their personal identifying information, personal health information, or federal tax information at the earliest possible date, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.