Bill Text

Bill Information


PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-553 Pet insurance.(2021-2022)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 02/10/2021 09:00 PM
AB553:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 553


Introduced by Assembly Member Kamlager

February 10, 2021


An act to amend Section 12880 of, and to add Sections 12880.7 and 12880.8 to, the Insurance Code, relating to pet insurance.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 553, as introduced, Kamlager. Pet insurance.
Existing law generally regulates classes of insurance, including pet insurance. Under existing law, pet insurance is an individual or group insurance policy that provides coverage for veterinary expenses, which are defined as the costs associated with medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment provided by a veterinarian.
This bill would expand the definition of veterinary expenses to include costs associated with medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment provided by a person working under the direction of a veterinarian. The bill would require a pet insurance policy issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2022, to provide full coverage for a sterilization surgery and the veterinary expenses associated with, or arising from, the sterilization surgery, and would prohibit an insurer from accepting or requiring an additional payment for sterilization surgery. The bill would require a notice of cancellation for a pet insurance policy issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2022, to be delivered at least 20 calendar days before the effective date of the cancellation, or at least 10 calendar days before the effective date in cases of nonpayment of premiums or fraud.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 12880 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

12880.
 For purposes of this part, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “Chronic condition” means a condition that can be treated or managed, but not cured.
(b) “Congenital anomaly or disorder” means a condition that is present from birth, whether inherited or caused by the environment, which may cause or otherwise contribute to illness or disease.
(c) “Hereditary disorder” means an abnormality that is genetically transmitted from parent to offspring and may cause illness or disease.
(d) “Pet insurance” means an individual or group insurance policy that provides coverage for veterinary expenses.
(e) “Preexisting condition” means any condition for which a veterinarian provided medical advice, the pet received treatment for, or the pet displayed signs or symptoms consistent with the stated condition prior to the effective date of a pet insurance policy or during any waiting period.
(f) “Sterilization surgery” means a surgical procedure that intentionally renders the pet unable to reproduce, including, an ovariohysterectomy, orchiectomy, hysterectomy, vasectomy, or ovariectomy.

(f)

(g) “Veterinarian” means an individual who holds a valid license to practice veterinary medicine from the Veterinary Medical Board pursuant to Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 4800) of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code or other appropriate licensing entity in the jurisdiction in which he or she the veterinarian practices.

(g)

(h) “Veterinary expenses” means the costs associated with medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment provided by a veterinarian, or a person working under the direction of a veterinarian, including, but not limited to, the cost of drugs prescribed by a veterinarian.

(h)

(i) “Waiting or affiliation period” means the period of time specified in a pet insurance policy that is required to transpire before some or all of the coverage in the policy can begin.

SEC. 2.

 Section 12880.7 is added to the Insurance Code, to read:

12880.7.
 (a) A pet insurance policy issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2022, shall provide full coverage for a sterilization surgery elected by the policyholder and all veterinary expenses associated with, or arising from, the sterilization surgery.
(b) An insurer shall not accept or require an additional payment for sterilization surgery coverage provided pursuant to subdivision (a), including a copayment, coinsurance, deductible, or any other form of cost sharing, and shall not require a policyholder to purchase an additional benefit to obtain coverage for sterilization surgery.

SEC. 3.

 Section 12880.8 is added to the Insurance Code, to read:

12880.8.
 (a) A notice of cancellation for a pet insurance policy issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2022, shall be delivered at least 20 calendar days before the effective date of the cancellation.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), if the pet insurance policy cancellation is due to nonpayment of premiums or fraud, the notice of cancellation shall be delivered at least 10 calendar days before the effective date of the cancellation.
(c) A notice of cancellation for a pet insurance policy may be transmitted electronically as set forth in Section 38.6. Subdivision (a) of Section 1013 of the Code of Civil Procedure applies if the notice is mailed.