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AB-493 Health insurance.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/08/2021 09:00 PM
AB493:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 493


Introduced by Assembly Member Wood
(Coauthor: Senator Pan)

February 08, 2021


An act to amend Sections 10112.27, 10198.7, 10753.05, 10753.14, 10965.3, and 10965.9 of the Insurance Code, relating to health insurance.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 493, as introduced, Wood. Health insurance.
Existing law provides for the regulation of health insurers by the Department of Insurance. Existing federal law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), enacts various health care market reforms. Existing law requires an individual or small group health insurance policy issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2017, to cover essential health benefits as prescribed, and provides that these provisions shall be implemented only to the extent essential health benefits are required pursuant to PPACA.
This bill would delete the provision that conditions the implementation of that provision only to the extent essential health benefits are required pursuant to PPACA, and would make technical, nonsubstantive changes to that provision.
Existing law prohibits a nongrandfathered health benefit plan for individual coverage from imposing a preexisting condition provision or waivered condition provision upon a person, and makes this provision inoperative if prescribed federal law on minimum essential coverage is repealed or amended.
This bill would delete the conditional operation of that provision.
Among other things, PPACA requires each health insurance issuer that offers health insurance coverage in the individual or group market in a state to accept every employer and individual in the state that applies for coverage, and prohibits discriminatory premium rates, as specified. PPACA also requires applicable individuals to maintain minimum essential coverage, and imposes a shared responsibility penalty on an applicable individual who does not maintain minimum essential coverage. This provision is referred to as the individual mandate.
Existing law requires a carrier to fairly and affirmatively offer, market, and sell all of the carrier’s health benefit plans that are sold to, offered through, or sponsored by, small employers or associations that include small employers for plan years on or after January 1, 2014, to all small employers in each geographic region in which the carrier makes coverage available or provides benefits. Existing law provides that the premium rate for a small employer health benefit plan issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2014, shall vary with respect to the particular coverage involved only by age, geographic region, and whether the contract covers an individual or family, as specified. Under existing law, these provisions would become inoperative 12 months after the repeal of the federal coverage guarantee and premium rate regulation provisions, as prescribed.
This bill would delete the conditional operation of the above-described provisions based on the continued operation of the federal coverage guarantee and premium rate regulation provisions in the small employer market.
For policy years on or after January 1, 2014, existing law requires a health insurer to fairly and affirmatively offer, market, and sell all of its health benefit plans that are sold in the individual market to all individuals and dependents in each service area in which the insurer provides or arranges for the provision of health care services, and prohibits an individual health benefit plan issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2014, from imposing a preexisting condition provision upon an individual. Existing law requires a health insurer to use only age, geographic region, and whether the contract covers an individual or family in setting premium rates for nongrandfathered small employer and individual health benefit plans issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2014. Under existing law, these provisions would become inoperative 12 months after the repeal of the federal individual mandate or its amendment to no longer apply to the individual market.
This bill would delete the conditional operation of the above-described provisions based on the continued operation of the federal individual mandate and its applicability to the individual market.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 10112.27 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

10112.27.
 (a) An individual or small group health insurance policy issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2017, shall, at a minimum, include shall include, at a minimum, coverage for essential health benefits pursuant to PPACA the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and as outlined in this section. This section shall exclusively govern what the benefits a health insurer must cover as essential health benefits. For purposes of this section, “essential health benefits” means all of the following:
(1) Health benefits within the categories identified in Section 1302(b) of PPACA: ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment, prescription drugs, rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, laboratory services, preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management, and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.
(2) (A) The health benefits covered by the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Small Group HMO 30 plan (federal health product identification number 40513CA035) as this plan was offered during the first quarter of 2014, as follows, regardless of whether the benefits are specifically referenced in the plan contract or evidence of coverage for that plan:
(i) Medically necessary basic health care services, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1345 of the Health and Safety Code and in Section 1300.67 of Title 28 of the California Code of Regulations.
(ii) The health benefits mandated to be covered by the plan pursuant to statutes enacted before December 31, 2011, as described in the following sections of the Health and Safety Code: Sections 1367.002, 1367.06, and 1367.35 (preventive services for children); Section 1367.25 (prescription drug coverage for contraceptives); Section 1367.45 (AIDS vaccine); Section 1367.46 (HIV testing); Section 1367.51 (diabetes); Section 1367.54 (alpha-fetoprotein testing); Section 1367.6 (breast cancer screening); Section 1367.61 (prosthetics for laryngectomy); Section 1367.62 (maternity hospital stay); Section 1367.63 (reconstructive surgery); Section 1367.635 (mastectomies); Section 1367.64 (prostate cancer); Section 1367.65 (mammography); Section 1367.66 (cervical cancer); Section 1367.665 (cancer screening tests); Section 1367.67 (osteoporosis); Section 1367.68 (surgical procedures for jaw bones); Section 1367.71 (anesthesia for dental); Section 1367.9 (conditions attributable to diethylstilbestrol); Section 1368.2 (hospice care); Section 1370.6 (cancer clinical trials); Section 1371.5 (emergency response ambulance or ambulance transport services); subdivision (b) of Section 1373 (sterilization operations or procedures); Section 1373.4 (inpatient hospital and ambulatory maternity); Section 1374.56 (phenylketonuria); Section 1374.17 (organ transplants for HIV); Section 1374.72 (mental health parity); and Section 1374.73 (autism/behavioral health treatment).
(iii) Any other benefits mandated to be covered by the plan pursuant to statutes enacted before December 31, 2011, as described in those statutes.
(iv) The health benefits covered by the plan that are not otherwise required to be covered under Chapter 2.2 (commencing with Section 1340) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, to the extent otherwise required pursuant to Sections 1367.18, 1367.21, 1367.215, 1367.22, 1367.24, and 1367.25 of the Health and Safety Code, and Section 1300.67.24 of Title 28 of the California Code of Regulations.
(v) Any other health benefits covered by the plan that are not otherwise required to be covered under Chapter 2.2 (commencing with Section 1340) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code.
(B) If there are any conflicts or omissions in the plan identified in subparagraph (A) as compared with the requirements for health benefits under Chapter 2.2 (commencing with Section 1340) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code that were enacted prior to before December 31, 2011, the requirements of Chapter 2.2 (commencing with Section 1340) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code shall be controlling, control, except as otherwise specified in this section.
(C) Notwithstanding subparagraph (B) or any other provision of this section, the home health services benefits covered under the plan identified in subparagraph (A) shall be deemed to not be in conflict with Chapter 2.2 (commencing with Section 1340) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code.
(D) For purposes of this section, the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-343) shall apply to a policy subject to this section. Coverage of mental health and substance use disorder services pursuant to this paragraph, along with any scope and duration limits imposed on the benefits, shall be in compliance with the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-343), and all rules, regulations, and guidance issued pursuant to Section 2726 of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-26).
(3) With respect to habilitative services, in addition to any habilitative services and devices identified in paragraph (2), coverage shall also be provided as required by federal rules, regulations, or guidance issued pursuant to Section 1302(b) of PPACA. Habilitative services and devices shall be covered under the same terms and conditions applied to rehabilitative services and devices under the policy. Limits on habilitative and rehabilitative services and devices shall not be combined.
(4) With respect to pediatric vision care, the same health benefits for pediatric vision care covered under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program vision plan with the largest national enrollment as of the first quarter of 2014. The pediatric vision care services covered pursuant to this paragraph shall be in addition to, and shall not replace, any vision services covered under the plan identified in paragraph (2).
(5) With respect to pediatric oral care, the same health benefits for pediatric oral care covered under the dental benefit received by children under Medi-Cal the Medi-Cal program as of 2014, including the provision of medically necessary orthodontic care provided pursuant to the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009. The pediatric oral care benefits covered pursuant to this paragraph shall be in addition to, and shall not replace, any dental or orthodontic services covered under the plan identified in paragraph (2).
(b) Treatment limitations imposed on health benefits described in this section shall be no greater than the treatment limitations imposed by the corresponding plans identified in subdivision (a), subject to the requirements set forth in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).
(c) Except as provided in subdivision (d), nothing in this section shall be construed to not permit a health insurer to make substitutions for the benefits required to be covered under this section, regardless of whether those substitutions are actuarially equivalent.
(d) To the extent permitted under Section 1302 of PPACA and any rules, regulations, or guidance issued pursuant to that section, and to the extent that substitution would not create an obligation for the state to defray costs for any individual, an insurer may substitute its prescription drug formulary for the formulary provided under the plan identified in subdivision (a) as long as if the coverage for prescription drugs complies with the sections referenced in clauses (ii) and (iv) of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) that apply to prescription drugs.
(e) A health insurer, or its agent, producer, or representative, shall not issue, deliver, renew, offer, market, represent, or sell any product, policy, or discount arrangement as compliant with the essential health benefits requirement in federal law, unless it meets all of the requirements of this section. This subdivision shall be enforced in the same manner as Section 790.03, including through the means specified in Sections 790.035 and 790.05.
(f) This section applies regardless of whether the policy is offered inside or outside the California Health Benefit Exchange created by Section 100500 of the Government Code.
(g) This section shall not be construed to exempt a health insurer or a health insurance policy from meeting other applicable requirements of law.
(h) This section shall not be construed to prohibit a policy from covering additional benefits, including, but not limited to, spiritual care services that are tax deductible under Section 213 of the Internal Revenue Code.
(i) Subdivision (a) does not apply to any of the following:
(1) A policy that provides excepted benefits as described in Sections 2722 and 2791 of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-21; 42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-91).
(2) A policy that qualifies as a grandfathered health plan under Section 1251 of PPACA or any binding rules, regulation, or guidance issued pursuant to that section.
(j) This section shall not be implemented in a manner that conflicts with a requirement of PPACA.

(k)This section shall be implemented only to the extent essential health benefits are required pursuant to PPACA.

(l)

(k) An essential health benefit is required to be provided under this section only to the extent that federal law does not require the state to defray the costs of the benefit.

(m)

(l) This section does not obligate the state to incur costs for the coverage of benefits that are not essential health benefits as defined in this section.

(n)

(m) An insurer is not required to cover, under this section, changes to health benefits that are the result of statutes enacted on or after December 31, 2011.

(o)

(n) (1) The commissioner may adopt emergency regulations implementing this section. The commissioner may, commissioner, on a one-time basis, may readopt any emergency regulation authorized by this section that is the same as, or substantially equivalent to, an emergency regulation previously adopted under this section.
(2) The initial adoption of emergency regulations implementing this section and the readoption of emergency regulations authorized by this subdivision shall be deemed an emergency and necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, or general welfare. The initial emergency regulations and the readoption of emergency regulations authorized by this section shall be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law for filing with the Secretary of State and each shall remain in effect for no more than 180 days, by which time final regulations may be adopted.
(3) The initial adoption of emergency regulations implementing this section made during the 2015–16 Regular Session of the Legislature and the readoption of emergency regulations authorized by this subdivision shall be deemed an emergency and necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, or general welfare. The initial emergency regulations and the readoption of emergency regulations authorized by this section shall be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law for filing with the Secretary of State and each shall remain in effect for no more than 180 days, by which time final regulations may be adopted.
(4) The commissioner shall consult with the Director of the Department of Managed Health Care to ensure consistency and uniformity in the development of regulations under this subdivision.
(5) This subdivision shall become inoperative on July 1, 2018.

(p)

(o) Nothing in this section shall This section shall not impose on health insurance policies the cost sharing or network limitations of the plans identified in subdivision (a) except to the extent otherwise required to comply with provisions of this code, including this section, and as otherwise applicable to all health insurance policies offered to individuals and small groups.

(q)

(p) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Habilitative services” means health care services and devices that help a person keep, learn, or improve skills and functioning for daily living. Examples include therapy for a child who is not walking or talking at the expected age. These services may include physical and occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and other services for people with disabilities in a variety of inpatient or outpatient settings, or both. Habilitative services shall be covered under the same terms and conditions applied to rehabilitative services under the policy.
(2) (A) “Health benefits,” unless otherwise required to be defined pursuant to federal rules, regulations, or guidance issued pursuant to Section 1302(b) of PPACA, means health care items or services for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of illness, injury, disease, or a health condition, including a behavioral health condition.
(B) “Health benefits” does not mean any cost-sharing requirements such as copayments, coinsurance, or deductibles.
(3) “PPACA” means the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148), as amended by the federal Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-152), and any rules, regulations, or guidance issued thereunder.
(4) “Small group health insurance policy” means a group health insurance policy issued to a small employer, as defined in subdivision (q) of Section 10753.

SEC. 2.

 Section 10198.7 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

10198.7.
 (a) A health benefit plan for group coverage shall not impose any preexisting condition provision or waivered condition provision upon any individual.
(b) (1) A nongrandfathered health benefit plan for individual coverage shall not impose any preexisting condition provision or waivered condition provision upon any individual.
(2)  A grandfathered health benefit plan for individual coverage shall not exclude coverage on the basis of a waivered condition provision or preexisting condition provision for a period greater than 12 months following the individual’s effective date of coverage, nor limit or exclude coverage for a specific insured by type of illness, treatment, medical condition, or accident, except for satisfaction of a preexisting condition provision or waivered condition provision pursuant to this article. Waivered condition provisions or preexisting condition provisions contained in individual grandfathered health benefit plans may relate only to conditions for which medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment, including use of prescription drugs, was recommended or received from a licensed health practitioner during the 12 months immediately preceding the effective date of coverage.

(3)If Section 5000A of the Internal Revenue Code, as added by Section 1501 of PPACA, is repealed or amended to no longer apply to the individual market, as defined in Section 2791 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-91), paragraph (1) shall become inoperative 12 months after the date of that repeal or amendment and thereafter paragraph (2) shall apply also to nongrandfathered health benefit plans for individual coverage.

(4)

(3) In determining whether a preexisting condition provision or a waivered condition provision applies to an individual under this subdivision, a health benefit plan shall credit the time the individual was covered under creditable coverage, provided that the individual becomes eligible for coverage under the succeeding health benefit plan within 62 days of termination of prior coverage and applies for coverage under the succeeding plan within the applicable enrollment period.
(c) A health benefit plan for group or individual coverage shall not impose a waiting period.

SEC. 3.

 Section 10753.05 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

10753.05.
 (a) No group or individual policy or contract or certificate of group insurance or statement of group coverage providing benefits to employees of small employers as defined in this chapter shall be issued or delivered by a carrier subject to the jurisdiction of the commissioner regardless of the situs of the contract or master policyholder or of the domicile of the carrier nor, except as otherwise provided in Sections 10270.91 and 10270.92, shall a carrier provide coverage subject to this chapter until a copy of the form of the policy, contract, certificate, or statement of coverage is filed with and approved by the commissioner in accordance with Sections 10290 and 10291, and the carrier has complied with the requirements of Section 10753.17.
(b) (1) Each carrier shall fairly and affirmatively offer, market, and sell all of the carrier’s health benefit plans that are sold to, offered through, or sponsored by, small employers or associations that include small employers for plan years on or after January 1, 2014, to all small employers in each geographic region in which the carrier makes coverage available or provides benefits.
(2) A carrier that offers qualified health plans through the Exchange shall be deemed to be in compliance with paragraph (1) with respect to health benefit plans offered through the Exchange in those geographic regions in which the carrier offers plans through the Exchange.
(3) A carrier shall provide enrollment periods consistent with PPACA and described in Section 155.725 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Commencing January 1, 2014, a carrier shall provide special enrollment periods consistent with the special enrollment periods described in Section 10965.3, to the extent permitted by PPACA, except for both of the following:
(A) The special enrollment period described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) of Section 10965.3.
(B) The triggering events identified in paragraphs (d)(3) and (d)(6) of Section 155.420 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations with respect to health benefit plans offered through the Exchange.
(4) This section does not require an association, or a trust established and maintained by an association to receive a master insurance policy issued by an admitted insurer and to administer the benefits thereof solely for association members, to offer, market, or sell a benefit plan design to those who are not members of the association. However, if the association markets, offers, or sells a benefit plan design to those who are not members of the association it is subject to the requirements of this section. This section applies to an association that otherwise meets the requirements of paragraph (8) formed by merger of two or more associations after January 1, 1992, if the predecessor organizations had been in active existence on January 1, 1992, and for at least five years prior to that date and met the requirements of paragraph (5).
(5) A carrier which (A) effective January 1, 1992, and at least 20 years prior to that date, markets, offers, or sells benefit plan designs only to all members of one association and (B) does not market, offer, or sell any other individual, selected group, or group policy or contract providing medical, hospital, and surgical benefits shall not be required to market, offer, or sell to those who are not members of the association. However, if the carrier markets, offers, or sells any benefit plan design or any other individual, selected group, or group policy or contract providing medical, hospital, and surgical benefits to those who are not members of the association it is subject to the requirements of this section.
(6) Each carrier that sells health benefit plans to members of one association pursuant to paragraph (5) shall submit an annual statement to the commissioner which states that the carrier is selling health benefit plans pursuant to paragraph (5) and which, for the one association, lists all the information required by paragraph (7).
(7) Each carrier that sells health benefit plans to members of any association shall submit an annual statement to the commissioner which lists each association to which the carrier sells health benefit plans, the industry or profession which is served by the association, the association’s membership criteria, a list of officers, the state in which the association is organized, and the site of its principal office.
(8) For purposes of paragraphs (4) and (6), an association is a nonprofit organization comprised of a group of individuals or employers who associate based solely on participation in a specified profession or industry, accepting for membership any individual or small employer meeting its membership criteria, which do not condition membership directly or indirectly on the health or claims history of any person, which uses membership dues solely for and in consideration of the membership and membership benefits, except that the amount of the dues shall not depend on whether the member applies for or purchases insurance offered by the association, which is organized and maintained in good faith for purposes unrelated to insurance, which has been in active existence on January 1, 1992, and at least five years prior to that date, which has a constitution and bylaws, or other analogous governing documents which provide for election of the governing board of the association by its members, which has contracted with one or more carriers to offer one or more health benefit plans to all individual members and small employer members in this state. Health coverage through an association that is not related to employment shall be considered individual coverage. The status of each distinct member of an association shall determine whether that member’s association coverage is individual, small group, or large group health insurance coverage.
(c) Each carrier shall make available to each small employer all health benefit plans that the carrier offers or sells to small employers or to associations that include small employers for plan years on or after January 1, 2014. Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 10753, for purposes of this subdivision, companies that are affiliated companies or that are eligible to file a consolidated income tax return shall be treated as one carrier.
(d) Each carrier shall do all of the following:
(1) Prepare a brochure that summarizes all of its health benefit plans and make this summary available to small employers, agents, and brokers upon request. The summary shall include for each plan information on benefits provided, a generic description of the manner in which services are provided, such as how access to providers is limited, benefit limitations, required copayments and deductibles, and a telephone number that can be called for more detailed benefit information. Carriers are required to keep the information contained in the brochure accurate and up to date, and, upon updating the brochure, send copies to agents and brokers representing the carrier. Any entity that provides administrative services only with regard to a health benefit plan written or issued by another carrier shall not be required to prepare a summary brochure which includes that benefit plan.
(2) For each health benefit plan, prepare a more detailed evidence of coverage and make it available to small employers, agents, and brokers upon request. The evidence of coverage shall contain all information that a prudent buyer would need to be aware of in making selections of benefit plan designs. An entity that provides administrative services only with regard to a health benefit plan written or issued by another carrier shall not be required to prepare an evidence of coverage for that health benefit plan.
(3) Provide copies of the current summary brochure to all agents or brokers who represent the carrier and, upon updating the brochure, send copies of the updated brochure to agents and brokers representing the carrier for the purpose of selling health benefit plans.
(4) Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 10753, for purposes of this subdivision, companies that are affiliated companies or that are eligible to file a consolidated income tax return shall be treated as one carrier.
(e) Every agent or broker representing one or more carriers for the purpose of selling health benefit plans to small employers shall do all of the following:
(1) When providing information on a health benefit plan to a small employer but making no specific recommendations on particular benefit plan designs:
(A) Advise the small employer of the carrier’s obligation to sell to any small employer any of the health benefit plans it offers to small employers, consistent with PPACA, and provide them, upon request, with the actual rates that would be charged to that employer for a given health benefit plan.
(B) Notify the small employer that the agent or broker will procure rate and benefit information for the small employer on any health benefit plan offered by a carrier for whom the agent or broker sells health benefit plans.
(C) Notify the small employer that, upon request, the agent or broker will provide the small employer with the summary brochure required in paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) for any benefit plan design offered by a carrier whom the agent or broker represents.
(D) Notify the small employer of the availability of coverage and the availability of tax credits for certain employers consistent with PPACA and state law, including any rules, regulations, or guidance issued in connection therewith.
(2) When recommending a particular benefit plan design or designs, advise the small employer that, upon request, the agent will provide the small employer with the brochure required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) containing the benefit plan design or designs being recommended by the agent or broker.
(3) Prior to filing an application for a small employer for a particular health benefit plan:
(A) For each of the health benefit plans offered by the carrier whose health benefit plan the agent or broker is presenting, provide the small employer with the benefit summary required in paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) and the premium for that particular employer.
(B) Notify the small employer that, upon request, the agent or broker will provide the small employer with an evidence of coverage brochure for each health benefit plan the carrier offers.
(C) Obtain a signed statement from the small employer acknowledging that the small employer has received the disclosures required by this paragraph and Section 10753.16.
(f) A carrier, agent, or broker shall not induce or otherwise encourage a small employer to separate or otherwise exclude an eligible employee from a health benefit plan which, in the case of an eligible employee meeting the definition in paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 10753, is provided in connection with the employee’s employment or which, in the case of an eligible employee as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) of Section 10753, is provided in connection with a guaranteed association.
(g) A carrier shall not reject an application from a small employer for a health benefit plan provided:
(1) The small employer as defined by subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (q) of Section 10753 offers health benefits to 100 percent of its eligible employees as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 10753. Employees who waive coverage on the grounds that they have other group coverage shall not be counted as eligible employees.
(2) The small employer agrees to make the required premium payments.
(h) A carrier or agent or broker shall not, directly or indirectly, engage in the following activities:
(1) Encourage or direct small employers to refrain from filing an application for coverage with a carrier because of the health status, claims experience, industry, occupation, or geographic location within the carrier’s approved service area of the small employer or the small employer’s employees.
(2) Encourage or direct small employers to seek coverage from another carrier because of the health status, claims experience, industry, occupation, or geographic location within the carrier’s approved service area of the small employer or the small employer’s employees.
(3) Employ marketing practices or benefit designs that will have the effect of discouraging the enrollment of individuals with significant health needs or discriminate based on the individual’s race, color, national origin, present or predicted disability, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, expected length of life, degree of medical dependency, quality of life, or other health conditions.
This subdivision shall be enforced in the same manner as Section 790.03, including through Sections 790.035 and 790.05.
(i) A carrier shall not, directly or indirectly, enter into any contract, agreement, or arrangement with an agent or broker that provides for or results in the compensation paid to an agent or broker for a health benefit plan to be varied because of the health status, claims experience, industry, occupation, or geographic location of the small employer or the small employer’s employees. This subdivision shall not apply with respect to a compensation arrangement that provides compensation to an agent or broker on the basis of percentage of premium, provided that the percentage shall not vary because of the health status, claims experience, industry, occupation, or geographic area of the small employer.
(j) (1) A health benefit plan offered to a small employer, as defined in Section 1304(b) of PPACA and in Section 10753, shall not establish rules for eligibility, including continued eligibility, of an individual, or dependent of an individual, to enroll under the terms of the plan based on any of the following health status-related factors:
(A) Health status.
(B) Medical condition, including physical and mental illnesses.
(C) Claims experience.
(D) Receipt of health care.
(E) Medical history.
(F) Genetic information.
(G) Evidence of insurability, including conditions arising out of acts of domestic violence.
(H) Disability.
(I) Any other health status-related factor as determined by any federal regulations, rules, or guidance issued pursuant to Section 2705 of the federal Public Health Service Act.
(2) Notwithstanding Section 10291.5, a carrier shall not require an eligible employee or dependent to fill out a health assessment or medical questionnaire prior to before enrollment under a health benefit plan. A carrier shall not acquire or request information that relates to a health status-related factor from the applicant or his or her their dependent or any other source prior to before enrollment of the individual.
(k) (1) A carrier shall consider as a single risk pool for rating purposes in the small employer market the claims experience of all insureds in all nongrandfathered small employer health benefit plans offered by the carrier in this state, whether offered as health care service plan contracts or health insurance policies, including those insureds and enrollees who enroll in coverage through the Exchange and insureds and enrollees covered by the carrier outside of the Exchange.
(2) At least each calendar year, and no more frequently than each calendar quarter, a carrier shall establish an index rate for the small employer market in the state based on the total combined claims costs for providing essential health benefits, as defined pursuant to Section 1302 of PPACA and Section 10112.27, within the single risk pool required under paragraph (1). The index rate shall be adjusted on a marketwide basis based on the total expected marketwide payments and charges under the risk adjustment program established for the state pursuant to Section 1343 of PPACA and Exchange user fees, as described in subdivision (d) of Section 156.80 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The premium rate for all of the nongrandfathered health benefit plans within the single risk pool required under paragraph (1) shall use the applicable marketwide adjusted index rate, subject only to the adjustments permitted under paragraph (3).
(3) A carrier may vary premium rates for a particular nongrandfathered health benefit plan from its index rate based only on the following actuarially justified plan-specific factors:
(A) The actuarial value and cost-sharing design of the health benefit plan.
(B) The health benefit plan’s provider network, delivery system characteristics, and utilization management practices.
(C) The benefits provided under the health benefit plan that are in addition to the essential health benefits, as defined pursuant to Section 1302 of PPACA. These additional benefits shall be pooled with similar benefits within the single risk pool required under paragraph (1) and the claims experience from those benefits shall be utilized to determine rate variations for health benefit plans that offer those benefits in addition to essential health benefits.
(D) Administrative costs, excluding any user fees required by the Exchange.
(E) With respect to catastrophic plans, as described in subsection (e) of Section 1302 of PPACA, the expected impact of the specific eligibility categories for those plans.
(l) If a carrier enters into a contract, agreement, or other arrangement with a third-party administrator or other entity to provide administrative, marketing, or other services related to the offering of health benefit plans to small employers in this state, the third-party administrator shall be subject to this chapter.

(m)(1)Except as provided in paragraph (2), this section shall become inoperative if Section 2702 of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-1), as added by Section 1201 of PPACA, is repealed, in which case, 12 months after the repeal, carriers subject to this section shall instead be governed by Section 10705 to the extent permitted by federal law, and all references in this chapter to this section shall instead refer to Section 10705, except for purposes of paragraph (2).

(2)Paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of this section shall remain operative as it relates to health benefit plans offered through the Exchange.

SEC. 4.

 Section 10753.14 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

10753.14.
 (a) The premium rate for a small employer health benefit plan issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2014, shall vary with respect to the particular coverage involved only by the following:
(1) Age, pursuant to the age bands established by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services and the age rating curve established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services pursuant to Section 2701(a)(3) of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg(a)(3)). Rates based on age shall be determined using the individual’s age as of the date of the plan issuance or renewal, as applicable, and shall not vary by more than three to one for like individuals of different age who are 21 years of age or older as described in federal regulations adopted pursuant to Section 2701(a)(3) of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg(a)(3)).
(2) (A) Geographic region. The geographic regions for purposes of rating shall be the following:
(i) Region 1 shall consist of the Counties of Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, and Yuba.
(ii) Region 2 shall consist of the Counties of Marin, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma.
(iii) Region 3 shall consist of the Counties of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, and Yolo.
(iv) Region 4 shall consist of the City and County of San Francisco.
(v) Region 5 shall consist of the County of Contra Costa.
(vi) Region 6 shall consist of the County of Alameda.
(vii) Region 7 shall consist of the County of Santa Clara.
(viii) Region 8 shall consist of the County of San Mateo.
(ix) Region 9 shall consist of the Counties of Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz.
(x) Region 10 shall consist of the Counties of Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tulare.
(xi) Region 11 shall consist of the Counties of Fresno, Kings, and Madera.
(xii) Region 12 shall consist of the Counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.
(xiii) Region 13 shall consist of the Counties of Imperial, Inyo, and Mono.
(xiv) Region 14 shall consist of the County of Kern.
(xv) Region 15 shall consist of the ZIP Codes in the County of Los Angeles starting with 906 to 912, inclusive, 915, 917, 918, and 935.
(xvi) Region 16 shall consist of the ZIP Codes in the County of Los Angeles other than those identified in clause (xv).
(xvii) Region 17 shall consist of the Counties of Riverside and San Bernardino.
(xviii) Region 18 shall consist of the County of Orange.
(xix) Region 19 shall consist of the County of San Diego.
(B) No later than June 1, 2017, the department, in collaboration with the Exchange and the Department of Managed Health Care, shall review the geographic rating regions specified in this paragraph and the impacts of those regions on the health care coverage market in California, and submit a report to the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature. The requirement for submitting a report imposed under this subparagraph is inoperative June 1, 2021, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.
(3) Whether the health benefit plan covers an individual or family, as described in PPACA.
(b) The rate for a health benefit plan subject to this section shall not vary by any factor not described in this section.
(c) The total premium charged to a small employer pursuant to this section shall be determined by summing the premiums of covered employees and dependents in accordance with Section 147.102(c)(1) of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(d) The rating period for rates subject to this section shall be no less than 12 months from the date of issuance or renewal of the health benefit plan.

(e)If Section 2701 of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg), as added by Section 1201 of PPACA, is repealed, this section shall become inoperative 12 months after the repeal date, in which case rates for health benefit plans subject to this section shall instead be subject to Section 10714, to the extent permitted by federal law, and all references to this section shall be deemed to be references to Section 10714.

SEC. 5.

 Section 10965.3 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

10965.3.
 (a) (1) On and after October 1, 2013, a health insurer shall fairly and affirmatively offer, market, and sell all of the insurer’s health benefit plans that are sold in the individual market for policy years on or after January 1, 2014, to all individuals and dependents in each service area in which the insurer provides or arranges for the provision of health care services. A health insurer shall limit enrollment in individual health benefit plans to open enrollment periods, annual enrollment periods, and special enrollment periods as provided in subdivisions (c) and (d).
(2) A health insurer shall allow the policyholder of an individual health benefit plan to add a dependent to the policyholder’s health benefit plan at the option of the policyholder, consistent with the open enrollment, annual enrollment, and special enrollment period requirements in this section.
(b) An individual health benefit plan issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2014, shall not impose any preexisting condition provision upon any individual.
(c) (1) With respect to individual health benefit plans offered outside of the Exchange, a health insurer shall provide an initial open enrollment period from October 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014, inclusive, an annual enrollment period for the policy year beginning on January 1, 2015, from November 15, 2014, to February 15, 2015, inclusive, annual enrollment periods for policy years beginning on or after January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2018, inclusive, from November 1, of the preceding calendar year, to January 31 of the benefit year, inclusive, and annual enrollment periods for policy years beginning on or after January 1, 2019, from October 15 of the preceding calendar year, to January 15 of the benefit year, inclusive.
(2) With respect to individual health benefit plans offered through the Exchange, a health insurer shall provide an annual enrollment period for the policy years beginning on January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2018, inclusive, from November 1, of the preceding calendar year, to January 31 of the benefit year, inclusive, and annual enrollment periods for policy years beginning on or after January 1, 2019, from November 1 to December 15 of the preceding calendar year, inclusive.
(3) With respect to individual health benefit plans offered through the Exchange, for policy years beginning on or after January 1, 2019, a health insurer shall provide a special enrollment period for all individuals selecting an individual health benefit plan through the Exchange from October 15 to October 31 of the preceding calendar year, inclusive, and from December 16, of the preceding calendar year, to January 15 of the benefit year, inclusive. An application for a health benefit plan submitted during these two special enrollment periods shall be treated the same as an application submitted during the annual open enrollment period. The effective date of coverage for plan selections made between October 15 and October 31, inclusive, shall be January 1 of the benefit year, and for plan selections made from December 16 to January 15, inclusive, shall be no later than February 1 of the benefit year.
(4) Pursuant to Section 147.104(b)(2) of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, for individuals enrolled in noncalendar year individual health plan contracts, a health insurer shall also provide a limited open enrollment period beginning on the date that is 30 calendar days prior to the date the policy year ends in 2014.
(d) (1) Subject to paragraph (2), commencing January 1, 2014, a health insurer shall allow an individual to enroll in or change individual health benefit plans as a result of the following triggering events:
(A) The individual or the individual’s dependent loses minimum essential coverage. For purposes of this paragraph, both of the following definitions shall apply:
(i) “Minimum essential coverage” has the same meaning as that term is defined in Section 1345.5 of the Health and Safety Code or subsection (f) of Section 5000A of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. Sec. 5000A).
(ii) “Loss of minimum essential coverage” includes, but is not limited to, loss of that coverage due to the circumstances described in Section 54.9801-6(a)(3)(i) to (iii), inclusive, of Title 26 of the Code of Federal Regulations and the circumstances described in Section 1163 of Title 29 of the United States Code. “Loss of minimum essential coverage” also includes loss of that coverage for a reason that is not due to the fault of the individual.
(iii) “Loss of minimum essential coverage” does not include loss of that coverage due to the individual’s failure to pay premiums on a timely basis or situations allowing for a rescission, subject to clause (ii) and Sections 10119.2 and 10384.17.
(B) The individual gains a dependent or becomes a dependent.
(C) The individual is mandated to be covered as a dependent pursuant to a valid state or federal court order.
(D) The individual has been released from incarceration.
(E) The individual’s health coverage issuer substantially violated a material provision of the health coverage contract.
(F) The individual gains access to new health benefit plans as a result of a permanent move.
(G) The individual was receiving services from a contracting provider under another health benefit plan, as defined in Section 10965 of this code or Section 1399.845 of the Health and Safety Code, for one of the conditions described in subdivision (a) of Section 10133.56 of this code and that provider is no longer participating in the health benefit plan.
(H) The individual demonstrates to the Exchange, with respect to health benefit plans offered through the Exchange, or to the department, with respect to health benefit plans offered outside the Exchange, that the individual did not enroll in a health benefit plan during the immediately preceding enrollment period available to the individual because the individual was misinformed that the individual was covered under minimum essential coverage.
(I) The individual is a member of the reserve forces of the United States military returning from active duty or a member of the California National Guard returning from active duty service under Title 32 of the United States Code.
(J) With respect to individual health benefit plans offered through the Exchange, in addition to the triggering events listed in this paragraph, any other events listed in Section 155.420(d) of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(2) With respect to individual health benefit plans offered outside the Exchange, an individual shall have 60 days from the date of a triggering event identified in paragraph (1) to apply for coverage from a health care service plan subject to this section. With respect to individual health benefit plans offered through the Exchange, an individual shall have 60 days from the date of a triggering event identified in paragraph (1) to select a plan offered through the Exchange, unless a longer period is provided in Part 155 (commencing with Section 155.10) of Subchapter B of Subtitle A of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(e) With respect to individual health benefit plans offered through the Exchange, the effective date of coverage required pursuant to this section shall be consistent with the dates specified in Section 155.410 or 155.420 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as applicable. A dependent who is a registered domestic partner pursuant to Section 297 of the Family Code shall have the same effective date of coverage as a spouse.
(f) With respect to an individual health benefit plan offered outside the Exchange, the following provisions shall apply:
(1) After an individual submits a completed application form for a plan, the insurer shall, within 30 days, notify the individual of the individual’s actual premium charges for that plan established in accordance with Section 10965.9. The individual shall have 30 days in which to exercise the right to buy coverage at the quoted premium charges.
(2) With respect to an individual health benefit plan for which an individual applies during the initial open enrollment period described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c), when the policyholder submits a premium payment, based on the quoted premium charges, and that payment is delivered or postmarked, whichever occurs earlier, by December 15, 2013, coverage under the individual health benefit plan shall become effective no later than January 1, 2014. When that payment is delivered or postmarked within the first 15 days of any subsequent month, coverage shall become effective no later than the first day of the following month. When that payment is delivered or postmarked between December 16, 2013, to December 31, 2013, inclusive, or after the 15th day of any subsequent month, coverage shall become effective no later than the first day of the second month following delivery or postmark of the payment.
(3) With respect to an individual health benefit plan for which an individual applies during the annual open enrollment period described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c), when the individual submits a premium payment, based on the quoted premium charges, and that payment is delivered or postmarked, whichever occurs later, by December 15 of the preceding calendar year, coverage shall become effective on January 1 of the benefit year. When that payment is delivered or postmarked within the first 15 days of any subsequent month, coverage shall become effective no later than the first day of the following month. When that payment is delivered or postmarked between December 16 to December 31, inclusive, or after the 15th day of any subsequent month, coverage shall become effective no later than the first day of the second month following delivery or postmark of the payment.
(4) With respect to an individual health benefit plan for which an individual applies during a special enrollment period described in subdivision (d), the following provisions shall apply:
(A) When the individual submits a premium payment, based on the quoted premium charges, and that payment is delivered or postmarked, whichever occurs earlier, within the first 15 days of the month, coverage under the plan shall become effective no later than the first day of the following month. When the premium payment is neither delivered nor postmarked until after the 15th day of the month, coverage shall become effective no later than the first day of the second month following delivery or postmark of the payment.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), in the case of a birth, adoption, or placement for adoption, the coverage shall be effective on the date of birth, adoption, or placement for adoption.
(C) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), in the case of marriage or becoming a registered domestic partner or in the case where a qualified individual loses minimum essential coverage, the coverage effective date shall be the first day of the month following the date the insurer receives the request for special enrollment.
(g) (1) A health insurer shall not establish rules for eligibility, including continued eligibility, of any individual to enroll under the terms of an individual health benefit plan based on any of the following factors:
(A) Health status.
(B) Medical condition, including physical and mental illnesses.
(C) Claims experience.
(D) Receipt of health care.
(E) Medical history.
(F) Genetic information.
(G) Evidence of insurability, including conditions arising out of acts of domestic violence.
(H) Disability.
(I) Any other health status-related factor as determined by any federal regulations, rules, or guidance issued pursuant to Section 2705 of the federal Public Health Service Act (Public Law 78-410).
(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 10291.5, a health insurer shall not require an individual applicant or the applicant’s dependent to fill out a health assessment or medical questionnaire prior to enrollment under an individual health benefit plan. A health insurer shall not acquire or request information that relates to a health status-related factor from the applicant or the applicant’s dependent or any other source prior to enrollment of the individual.
(h) (1) A health insurer shall consider as a single risk pool for rating purposes in the individual market the claims experience of all insureds and enrollees in all nongrandfathered individual health benefit plans offered by that insurer in this state, whether offered as health care service plan contracts or individual health insurance policies, including those insureds and enrollees who enroll in individual coverage through the Exchange and insureds and enrollees who enroll in individual coverage outside the Exchange. Student health insurance coverage, as such coverage is defined in Section 147.145(a) of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, shall not be included in a health insurer’s single risk pool for individual coverage.
(2) Each calendar year, a health insurer shall establish an index rate for the individual market in the state based on the total combined claims costs for providing essential health benefits, as defined pursuant to Section 1302 of PPACA, within the single risk pool required under paragraph (1). The index rate shall be adjusted on a marketwide basis based on the total expected marketwide payments and charges under the risk adjustment program established for the state pursuant to Section 1343 of PPACA and Exchange user fees, as described in subdivision (d) of Section 156.80 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The premium rate for all of the health benefit plans in the individual market within the single risk pool required under paragraph (1) shall use the applicable marketwide adjusted index rate, subject only to the adjustments permitted under paragraph (3).
(3) A health insurer may vary premium rates for a particular health benefit plan from its index rate based only on the following actuarially justified plan-specific factors:
(A) The actuarial value and cost-sharing design of the health benefit plan.
(B) The health benefit plan’s provider network, delivery system characteristics, and utilization management practices.
(C) The benefits provided under the health benefit plan that are in addition to the essential health benefits, as defined pursuant to Section 1302 of PPACA and Section 10112.27. These additional benefits shall be pooled with similar benefits within the single risk pool required under paragraph (1) and the claims experience from those benefits shall be utilized to determine rate variations for plans that offer those benefits in addition to essential health benefits.
(D) With respect to catastrophic plans, as described in subsection (e) of Section 1302 of PPACA, the expected impact of the specific eligibility categories for those plans.
(E) Administrative costs, excluding any user fees required by the Exchange.
(i) This section shall only apply with respect to individual health benefit plans for policy years on or after January 1, 2014.
(j) This section shall not apply to a grandfathered health plan.

(k)If Section 5000A of the Internal Revenue Code, as added by Section 1501 of PPACA, is repealed or amended to no longer apply to the individual market, as defined in Section 2791 of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-91), subdivisions (a), (b), and (g) shall become inoperative 12 months after the date of that repeal or amendment and individual health care benefit plans shall thereafter be subject to Sections 10901.2, 10951, and 10953.

SEC. 6.

 Section 10965.9 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

10965.9.
 (a) With respect to individual health benefit plans issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2014, a health insurer may use only the following characteristics of an individual, and any dependent thereof, for purposes of establishing the rate of the individual health benefit plan covering the individual and the eligible dependents thereof, along with the health benefit plan selected by the individual:
(1) Age, pursuant to the age bands established by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services and the age rating curve established by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services pursuant to Section 2701(a)(3) of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg(a)(3)). Rates based on age shall be determined using the individual’s age as of the date of the plan issuance or renewal, as applicable, and shall not vary by more than three to one for like individuals of different ages who are 21 years of age or older as described in federal regulations adopted pursuant to Section 2701(a)(3) of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg(a)(3)).
(2) (A) Geographic region. The geographic regions for purposes of rating shall be the following:
(i) Region 1 shall consist of the Counties of Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, and Yuba.
(ii) Region 2 shall consist of the Counties of Marin, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma.
(iii) Region 3 shall consist of the Counties of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, and Yolo.
(iv) Region 4 shall consist of the City and County of San Francisco.
(v) Region 5 shall consist of the County of Contra Costa.
(vi) Region 6 shall consist of the County of Alameda.
(vii) Region 7 shall consist of the County of Santa Clara.
(viii) Region 8 shall consist of the County of San Mateo.
(ix) Region 9 shall consist of the Counties of Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz.
(x) Region 10 shall consist of the Counties of Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tulare.
(xi) Region 11 shall consist of the Counties of Fresno, Kings, and Madera.
(xii) Region 12 shall consist of the Counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.
(xiii) Region 13 shall consist of the Counties of Imperial, Inyo, and Mono.
(xiv) Region 14 shall consist of the County of Kern.
(xv) Region 15 shall consist of the ZIP Codes in the County of Los Angeles starting with 906 to 912, inclusive, 915, 917, 918, and 935.
(xvi) Region 16 shall consist of the ZIP Codes in the County of Los Angeles other than those identified in clause (xv).
(xvii) Region 17 shall consist of the Counties of Riverside and San Bernardino.
(xviii) Region 18 shall consist of the County of Orange.
(xix) Region 19 shall consist of the County of San Diego.
(B) No later than June 1, 2017, the department, in collaboration with the Exchange and the Department of Managed Heath Care, shall review the geographic rating regions specified in this paragraph and the impacts of those regions on the health care coverage market in California, and make a report to the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature.
(3) Whether the plan covers an individual or family, as described in PPACA.
(b) The rate for a health benefit plan subject to this section shall not vary by any factor not described in this section.
(c) With respect to family coverage under an individual health benefit plan, the rating variation permitted under paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) shall be applied based on the portion of the premium attributable to each family member covered under the plan. The total premium for family coverage shall be determined by summing the premiums for each individual family member. In determining the total premium for family members, premiums for no more than the three oldest family members who are under 21 years of age shall be taken into account.
(d) The rating period for rates subject to this section shall be from January 1 to December 31, inclusive.
(e) This section shall not apply to an individual health benefit plan that is a grandfathered health plan.
(f) The requirement for submitting a report imposed under subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) is inoperative on June 1, 2021, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.

(g)If Section 5000A of the Internal Revenue Code, as added by Section 1501 of PPACA, is repealed or amended to no longer apply to the individual market, as defined in Section 2791 of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-4), this section shall become inoperative 12 months after the date of that repeal or the amendment.