Code Section

Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC

DIVISION 9. PUBLIC SOCIAL SERVICES [10000 - 18999.81]

  ( Division 9 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784. )
  

PART 3. AID AND MEDICAL ASSISTANCE [11000 - 15771]

  ( Part 3 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784. )
  

CHAPTER 7. Basic Health Care [14000 - 14199.67]

  ( Chapter 7 added by Stats. 1965, 2nd Ex. Sess., Ch. 4. )
  

ARTICLE 1. General Provisions [14000 - 14042.2]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1965, 2nd Ex. Sess., Ch. 4. )

  
14014.5.  

(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to protect individual privacy and the integrity of Medi-Cal and other insurance affordability programs by restricting the disclosure of personal identifying information to prevent identity theft, abuse, or fraud in situations where an insurance affordability program applicant or beneficiary appoints an authorized representative to assist him or her in obtaining health care benefits.

(b) The department, in consultation with the California Health Benefit Exchange, shall implement policies and prescribe forms, notices, and other safeguards to ensure the privacy and protection of the rights of applicants who appoint an authorized representative consistent with the provisions of Section 1902 of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1396a) and Section 435.908 of Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(c) All insurance affordability programs shall obtain completed authorization forms pursuant to subdivision (b) prior to making the final determination concerning the eligibility or renewal to which the authorization applies.

(d) An authorization pursuant to this section shall do both of the following:

(1) Specify what authority the applicant or beneficiary is granting to the authorized representative and what notices, if any, should be sent to the authorized representative in addition to the applicant or beneficiary.

(2) Be effective until the applicant or beneficiary cancels or modifies the authorization or appoints a new authorized representative, or the authorized representative informs the agency that he or she is no longer acting in that capacity or there is a change in the legal authority on which the authority was based. The notice shall conform to all federal requirements.

(e) An authorization pursuant to this section may be canceled or modified at any time for any reason by the insurance affordability program applicant or beneficiary by submitting notice of cancellation or modification to the appropriate insurance affordability program in accordance with policies and forms developed pursuant to subdivision (b).

(f) The agency shall accept electronic, including telephonically recorded, signatures, and handwritten signatures transmitted by facsimile or other electronic transmission.

(g) For purposes of this section all of the following definitions shall apply:

(1) “Authorized representative” means:

(A) (i) Any individual appointed in writing, on a form designated by the department, by a competent person that is an applicant for or beneficiary of any insurance affordability program, to act in place or on behalf of the applicant or beneficiary for purposes related to the insurance affordability program, including, but not limited to, accompanying, assisting, or representing the applicant in the application process or the beneficiary in the redetermination of eligibility process, as specified by the applicant or beneficiary.

(ii) Legal documentation of authority to act on behalf of the applicant or beneficiary under state law, including, but not limited to, a court order establishing legal guardianship or a valid power of attorney to make health care decisions, shall serve in place of a written appointment by the applicant or beneficiary.

(2) “Competent” means being able to act on one’s own behalf in business and personal matters.

(h) An authorized representative of an applicant or beneficiary of an insurance affordability program who also is employed by or is a contractor for any type of health care provider or facility shall fully disclose in writing to the applicant or beneficiary that the authorized representative is employed by or contracting with such a provider or facility and of any potential conflicts of interest.

(i) All notices regarding the insurance affordability program, including, but not limited to, those related to the application, redetermination, or actions taken by the agency, shall be sent to the applicant or beneficiary, and to the authorized representative if authorized by the applicant or beneficiary.

(j) (1) If an applicant or beneficiary is not competent and has not appointed an appropriately authorized representative pursuant to this section or that appointment is no longer effective, any of the individuals identified in subparagraphs (A) to (C), inclusive, may be recognized by the hearing officer as the authorized representative to represent the applicant or beneficiary at the state hearing regarding a notice of action if, at the hearing, he or she demonstrates that the applicant or beneficiary is not competent and that lack of competency is the reason that he or she has not been authorized by the applicant or beneficiary to act as the applicant’s or beneficiary’s authorized representative. The individuals that may be recognized are:

(A) A relative of the applicant or beneficiary or a person appointed by the relative.

(B) A person with knowledge of the applicant’s or beneficiary’s circumstances that completed and signed the statement of facts on the applicant’s or beneficiary’s behalf.

(C) An applicant’s or beneficiary’s legal counsel or advocate working under the supervision of an attorney.

(2) If an applicant or beneficiary is not competent and has not appointed an appropriately authorized representative pursuant to this section or that appointment is no longer effective, the hearing officer may allow an individual with knowledge about the applicant’s or beneficiary’s circumstances to represent the applicant or beneficiary at the hearing if (A) the hearing officer determines that the representation is in the applicant or beneficiary’s best interests and (B) there is not a person who qualifies under paragraph (1) that is available to represent the applicant or beneficiary.

(k) (1) A provider or staff member or volunteer of an organization who intends to serve as an authorized representative shall comply with, and shall provide, a signed written agreement that he or she will adhere to all federal and state requirements governing his or her appointment as an authorized representative, including, but not limited to, those relating to confidentiality of information, prohibitions against reassignment of provider claims, and conflicts of interest. The department shall work with counties and consumer advocates to develop a standard agreement form that may be used for this purpose.

(2) The standard agreement form developed pursuant to paragraph (1) shall include a notification regarding the requirements of this subdivision and a statement that by signing the agreement, the individual named as an authorized representative agrees to abide by those requirements.

(l) To the extent otherwise required by Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, the department shall adopt emergency regulations implementing this section no later than July 1, 2015. The department may thereafter readopt the emergency regulations pursuant to that chapter. The adoption and readoption, by the department, of regulations implementing this section shall be deemed to be an emergency and necessary to avoid serious harm to the public peace, health, safety, or general welfare for purposes of Sections 11346.1 and 11349.6 of the Government Code, and the department is hereby exempted from the requirement that it describe facts showing the need for immediate action and from review by the Office of Administrative Law.

(m) This section shall be implemented only if and to the extent that federal financial participation is available and any necessary federal approvals have been obtained.

(n) This section shall be implemented on October 1, 2013, or when all necessary federal approvals have been obtained, whichever is later.

(Added by Stats. 2013, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 4, Sec. 23. (SB 1 1x) Effective September 30, 2013.)