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SB-524 Health care coverage: patient steering.(2021-2022)

Senate:
1st
Cmt
2nd
Cmt
2nd
Cmt
2nd
3rd
Pass
Pass
Veto
Assembly:
1st
Cmt
2nd
Cmt
2nd
3rd
Pass
Bill Status
SB-524
Skinner (S)
-
Fong (A)
Health care coverage: patient steering.
03/20/21
An act to add Section 1367.44 to the Health and Safety Code, and to add Section 10123.66 to the Insurance Code, relating to health care coverage.
Senate
09/07/21
08/30/21

Type of Measure
Active Bill - In Floor Process
Majority Vote Required
Non-Appropriation
Fiscal Committee
State-Mandated Local Program
Non-Urgency
Non-Tax levy
Last 5 History Actions
Date Action
10/08/21 In Senate. Consideration of Governor's veto pending.
10/08/21 Vetoed by the Governor.
09/09/21 Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 1 p.m.
09/03/21 Assembly amendments concurred in. (Ayes 35. Noes 0.) Ordered to engrossing and enrolling.
09/02/21 In Senate. Concurrence in Assembly amendments pending.
Governor's Veto Message
To the Members of the California State Senate:

I am returning Senate Bill 524 without my signature.

This bill would prohibit patient steering to certain pharmacies by health plans, health insurers, and their agents, as specified.

While offering consumers a choice in pharmacies within their health plan or insurer networks is a worthwhile goal, the bill lacks clarity in key areas which may render it subject to misinterpretation or a lack of enforceability. It is unclear what business relationships between health plans, insurers, and their agents are intended to be affected because the bill does not define "agent" or "corporate affiliate." Furthermore, it is unclear what it means to "limit an enrollees' (or insureds') access" to certain pharmacy providers.

It is necessary to define these terms and concepts so appropriate oversight and enforcement may occur, particularly in light of the complexity of the contracting arrangements and benefit designs at issue. Finally, it is important to ensure that efforts to address these concerns do not have the unintended consequence of interfering with the ability of health plans and insurers to coordinate care and contain pharmaceutical costs for California's consumers.

Sincerely,




Gavin Newsom