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SB-1023 Reproductive health care coverage.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/07/2018 09:00 PM


Senate Bill No. 1023

Introduced by Senator Hernandez

February 07, 2018

An act relating to reproductive health care coverage.


SB 1023, as introduced, Hernandez. Reproductive health care coverage.
Existing law, the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975, provides for the licensure and regulation of health care service plans by the Department of Managed Health Care and makes a willful violation of the act a crime. Existing law also provides for the regulation of health insurers by the Department of Insurance. Existing law prohibits a health care service plan contract or health insurance policy issued, amended, renewed, or delivered on or after January 1, 2017, from requiring an enrollee or insured to receive a referral prior to receiving coverage or services for reproductive or sexual health care.
This bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to amend this bill to include provisions that would provide access to sexual and reproductive health care by ensuring care modalities through alternative delivery systems and platforms.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) California has a long history of, and commitment to, expanding access to services that aim to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancies and improving reproductive health outcomes.
(2) California’s Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment (Family PACT) Waiver Program, created in 1999, is viewed nationally as the “gold standard” of publicly funded programs providing access to reproductive health care and related services.
(3) The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and subsequent federal regulations mandated coverage for preventive services without cost sharing under most private health insurance plans to enhance access to the full range of FDA-approved prescription contraceptives and sexually transmitted disease STD screening.
(4) Since the passage of the ACA, many states have passed laws strengthening or expanding these preventive health coverage requirements. In 2014, California passed the Contraceptive Coverage Equity Act of 2014, which requires plans to cover all prescribed FDA-approved contraceptives for women without cost sharing, and requires plans to cover at least one therapeutic equivalent of a prescribed contraceptive drug, device, or product.
(5) Despite the gains we have made in reducing unintended pregnancy rates, in 2014, nearly 3,000,000 women in California were still in need of publicly supported family planning and there are significant disparities in unintended pregnancy and teen birth rates based on geography, race, and ethnicity.
(6) In addition, rates of STDs are at historic high. While all Californians are at risk of contracting an STD, men who have sex with men, African Americans, and youth are disproportionately impacted in high morbidity counties throughout the state. If left untreated, STDs can lead to long-term and severe health issues, including cancer, infertility, and blindness, and greatly increase an individual’s risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.
(7) Preventing unintended pregnancy and the spread of STDs brings significant cost savings to the state and federal governments. Providing safe and effective sexual and reproductive health care outside of an on-site, face-to-face consultation can advance the triple aim of improving patient experience and satisfaction, improving population health, and reducing costs.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to subsequently amend this measure to include provisions that would provide access to sexual and reproductive health care by ensuring care modalities through alternative delivery systems and platforms.