Numerous insurance-related bills have been introduced in the California Legislature this year. Legislative committees are now conducting hearings on the various measures. This year’s regular legislative session will end on September 13.
Here are summaries of a dozen noteworthy insurance-related bills.
AB 32 would increase the annual aggregate amount of qualified investments eligible for the Community Development Financial Institution tax credit from $10 million to $50 million. Insurers are able to obtain a credit against the insurance gross premium tax for qualifying investments. AB 32 is pending before the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee.
AB 231 would impose strict civil liability on a person who owns a firearm for each incidence of property damage, bodily injury, or death resulting from the use of his or her firearm; the owner would be able to avoid liability if he or she reports the firearm to local law enforcement as stolen prior to the damage, injury, or death. AB 231 is pending before the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
AB 584 would enact the NAIC Own Risk Solvency Assessment Model Law. AB 584 is pending before the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
AB 710 would require the governing board of the California Health Benefit Exchange to facilitate the purchase of qualified health plans through the Exchange by multi-employer plans. AB 710 is pending before the Assembly Health Committee.
AB 724 would extend the provisional drivers licensing program to licensees who are 18 or 19 years old. AB 724 is pending before the Assembly Transportation Committee.
AB 862 would authorize an insurer to offer a separately rated, non-offset underinsured motorist policy for which the insurer’s maximum liability would be the insured’s underinsured motorist coverage limit without subtracting the amount paid to the insured by or for any person or organization that may be held legally liable for the injury. AB 862 is pending before the Assembly Insurance Committee.
AB 1236 would authorize a licensed contractor organized as a limited liability company to obtain limited liability insurance from an eligible surplus line insurer. AB 1236 is pending before the Assembly Insurance Committee.
AB 1309 would exclude specified professional athletes from California’s workers’ compensation laws. AB 1309 is pending before the Assembly Insurance Committee.
ABX 12 would require an insurer to offer, market and sell all of the insurer’s 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. The bill also would prohibit the use of preexisting condition exclusions in the individual insurance market. ABX 12 was passed by the Assembly and is waiting for a vote on the Senate floor.
SB 146 would enact a provision stating that a copy of a prescription for workers’ compensation pharmaceutical services is not necessary unless a copy is required under a written contract between an employer, insurer, or third-party administrator and a pharmacy. SB 146 was passed by the Senate and is waiting for an assignment to an Assembly committee.
SB 251 would allow an insurer to offer to its policyholders the option of receiving notices, offers, renewals, and disclosures electronically. SB 251 is pending before the Senate Insurance Committee.
SB 626 would revise provisions relating to workers’ compensation independent medical reviews which were enacted as part of last year’s SB 863. SB 626 also would delete the provision that sets a limit on a chiropractor’s authority to serve as a treating physician. SB 626 is pending before the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee.