Automobile Insurance
Earthquake Insurance
Health Insurance




Automobile Insurance

SB 280* (Brulte-R) Vehicle registration: proof of insurance

Deletes the requirement that the form used to show proof of financial responsibility at the time a vehicle is registered include the insurer's identification number and, instead, authorizes the form to include the insurance agent's phone number.

(On Assembly Inactive File)

SB 334 (Lewis-R) Automobile insurance fraud

Adds knowingly causing or participating in a vehicular collision, or any other vehicular accident, for the purpose of presenting any false or fraudulent claim, to the definition of serious felony for purposes of the law prohibiting plea bargaining if a serious felony is charged.

(In Senate Insurance Committee)

SB 695 (Rainey-R) Automobile Insurance Claims Depository

Repeals the Automobile Insurance Claims Depository (AICD), a database designed to identify patterns of insurance fraud, and redirects AICD targeted monies to enhance automobile insurance fraud investigations.

Double-joined with AB 349 (Firestone-R).

Chapter 501, Statutes of 1997

SB 806 (Brulte-R) Insurance: personal responsibility

Permits disclosure by an insurance institution, agent, or insurance-support organization in response to a request to verify an individual's compliance with the financial responsibility laws of the state.

(In Senate Insurance Committee)

SB 859 (Lewis-R) California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan

Requires the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP) to submit monthly reports to the Legislature concerning the plan, and requires that a copy of each month's report be available to the public upon request.

(In Assembly Insurance Committee)

SB 912 (Calderon-D) Automobile insurance: contracts

Allows auto dealers to set up third-party administrators who could sell limited contracts covering defects in material and workmanship. Permits auto dealer service contracts to be exempt from insurance regulation if the third-party obligor of the contract (1) maintains an insurance policy with an admitted insurer covering the obligation of those contracts; (2) has a valid fire and casualty broker agent license; and (3) shows specific evidence of financial security, including a funded reserve account, a financial security account held in trust by the Insurance Commissioner, and a net worth of at least $100 million.

Chapter 824, Statutes of 1997

SB 1002 (Brulte-R) Motor vehicle insurance

Provides that in a 3rd party action for personal injury arising out of the operation or use of a motor vehicle, the recovery is to be reduced by amounts paid as a medical payment benefit under a policy of motor vehicle insurance, as specified.

(In Senate Judiciary Committee)

SB 1242 (Hughes-D) Motor vehicle insurance: loss control program

Requires the State Department of Insurance to oversee a 3-year study mandating that motor vehicle insurers notify their insureds residing in high-risk areas of Los Angeles County of the opportunity to participate in a loss control program.

(In Senate Insurance Committee)

SB 1297 (Haynes-R) Insured automobile inspection

Repeals the law requiring insurers to inspect passenger autos prior to the issuance or amendment of collision and comprehensive coverage with respect to insureds not formerly insured with that insurer or not formerly insured with that insurer for the same coverage.

(In Senate Insurance Committee)

AB 223 (Papan-D) Insurance: vehicles

Adds a sunset date of January 1, 1999 to the law currently requiring insurers to inspect vehicles prior to issuing a private passenger collision or comprehensive policy. States legislative intent that this bill should not be construed as prohibiting an insurer from voluntarily implementing a vehicle inspection program.

Chapter 163, Statutes of 1997

AB 349 (Firestone-R) Insurance: fraud

Amends confidentiality protection in the automobile insurance fraud program to apply to active and inactive criminal investigations.

Double-joined to AB 1004 (Thompson-R) and SB 695 (Rainey-R).

Chapter 364, Statutes of 1997

AB 651 (Lempert-D) Motor vehicles: financial responsibility

Revises and extends, until January 1, 2003, provisions requiring proof of financial responsibility as a condition for the renewal of a vehicle's registration. Requires insurance companies to electronically report to the State Department of Motor Vehicles information on vehicle liability insurance policies after a specified date, and establishes confidentiality requirements for information on financial responsibility reported to the department.

(In Senate Appropriations Committee)

AB 826 (Thomson-D) Automobile insurance: cancellation or nonrenewal

Amends Proposition 103 to permit insurers to cancel or non-renew an auto insurance policy due to certain violations of alcohol-related vehicle laws.

(On Senate Inactive File)

AB 1176 (Pringle-R) Liability: auto accidents

States that no cause of action seeking general damages for accidental injury resulting from the use, operation, or maintenance of a motor vehicle may be filed until the court determines that the plaintiff has suffered a "serious injury," as specified. Creates the Motor Vehicle Insurance Basic Choice Act of 1997 that provides an alternative mechanism by which all owners of motor vehicles may satisfy the compulsory insurance requirements, at reduced cost.

(Failed passage in Assembly Judiciary Committee; reconsideration granted)

AB 1411 (Brewer-R) Insurance rates

Permits the use of other factors that have a substantial relationship to the risk of loss that the Insurance Commissioner may approve in acting upon an insurance rate filing.

(In Assembly Insurance Committee)

Earthquake Insurance

AB 331 (Figueroa-D) California Earthquake Authority

Requires the California Earthquake Authority to include, within its plan of operations, provisions authorizing and establishing a mechanism for all Authority policyholders to make installment payment of their annual earthquake premiums. Allows the Authority to charge policyholders who opt to make such installment payments a nominal fee, as specified.

Chapter 231, Statutes of 1997

Similar legislation is SB 266 (Rosenthal-D), which is in the Assembly Insurance Committee.

AB 1549 (Figueroa-D) Earthquake insurance

Authorizes the Insurance Commissioner to approve changes to mandatory language relating to earthquake insurance, if necessary, to assure accuracy, as specified.

Chapter 378, Statutes of 1997

Health Insurance

Health Insurance

There were two major issues relative to this subject matter which came before the Legislature this session -- children's health coverage and making changes in the health care seervices plan system.

I. Children's Health Coverage

In July of this year, Congress included in the 1997 federal budget a child health block grant to states that offer $24 billion over the next five years to epxand coverage for uninsured, low-income children, not currently eligible for Medicaid, in families with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level. The State Children's Health Insurance Program, newly added as Title XXI of the Social Security Act, allows states that match available federal funds to expand coverage through their existing Medicaid program, to create or expand separate child insurance programs or to implement a combination of the two. Under the federal program, California could receive nearly $855 million in federal funds per year and would be required to match those funds at a 35% matching rate.

This year, alone, the Legislature considered more than a dozen bills to expand health coverage for uninsured families. The proposals range from expansion of the existing Medi-Cal program to establishment of new programs based in the private health insurance market. To coordinate review of these measures, and to consider how the state might participate in the newly passed federal block grant program, the Legislature created a two-house conference committee. In late August, the Governor submitted his preferred approach to draw down some of the available federal funds, a pooled purchasing program using private health insurance plans and opperated by the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB).

AB 1126 (Villaraigosa and Figueroa) and SB 903 (Lee and Maddy) were the result of legislative deliberations to consider and develop a compromise approach for expansion of coverage for low-income children, consistent with the federal program outline. SB 903 makes changes to the application process and determination of eligibility for children enrolling in the Medi-Cal program.

AB 1126 establishes the Health Famililes Program, to be administered by the MRMIB, and authorizes the MRMIB to use, in administering the program, a purchasing pool model, purchasing credits, and supplemental coverage to provide health coverage to uninsured children age one and older, not eligible for full-scope, no-share-of-cost Medi-Cal, in families with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level .

According to a January 1997 University of California health Insurance Policy Program report, "The State of Health Insurance in California," there are approximately 6 million uninsured Californians. Of the uninsured in California, more than 1.6 million are children under 17 years of age. There has been increasing attention to the problems presented by large numbers of uninsured persons, nationally and in California, and a growing concern about the numbers of children without access to basic primary and preventive care.

In California, nearly 83% of uninsured children have at least one parent who works and more than 50% of uninsured children have a parent who works full-time for the full year. Nearly 75% of uninsured children in California (1.2 million) live in families with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level. (100% of the federal poverty level for a family of three is $13,300; 200% is $26,660.)

II. Health Care Service Plans (HMO's)

Attempts were made in the 1997 Session to enact legislation to reform HMO's and there was other legislation which expanded coverage to be provided by HMO's and other health insurers.

In 1996, the Legislature passed, and the Governor signed, legislation creating the Managed Health Care Improvement Task Force to comprehensively review the appropriate role for government in guaranteeing the highest standards in quality of care, without sacrificing its affordability, so that it would be widely accessible.

The Governor, in his veto message of AB 1354, relating to obstetrical and gynecological services, indicated he would defer consideration of all managed care-related bills, regardless of the specific policy, merits, or focus, pending conclusion of the Task Force's deliberations, which most authors of these types of bills have done. The Chair of the Task Force, however, indicated that the Task Force did not see any reason for those bills to be stalled.

The only bill which the Governor signed as AB 38, which complies with federal law as it relates to health coverage for maternity benefits.

SB 70 (Hayden-D) Health coverage: breast cancer

Enacts the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 1997, which requires health plans to allow the length of hospitalization following a mastectomy or lymph node dissection to be determined by the attending physician, in consultation with the patient.

Vetoed by the Governor

SB 296 (Karnette-D) Health care coverage: prostate screening

Requires health plans and insurers to provide coverage for the screening and diagnosis of prostate cancer, as specified.

Vetoed by the Governor

SB 317 (Calderon-D) Health care service plans

Requires health care service plan capitation-based payments to providers be computed appropriately by a qualified actuary, and requires health plans to annually update an actuarial report required by regulations, as specified.

(On Assembly Inactive File)

SB 330 (Rosenthal-D) Health care service plans

Requires approval by the State Attorney General (AG) and the Commissioner of Corporations before the merger, acquisition, or change in control of any HMO doing business in the state. Allows the AG to approve only in cases where it will not lessen competition or create a monopoly. Specifies that the Commissioner's approval is conditional on his or her finding that the proposed transaction is in the best interest of the enrollees and subscribers.

(On Assembly Inactive File)

SB 392 (Rosenthal-D) Health care coverage: Medi-Cal coverage

Allows a dependent of an employee enrolled in a group health insurance plan, who loses Medi-Cal coverage, to enroll in the group plan within 30-days of the loss of coverage.

Chapter 581, Statutes of 1997

SB 393 (Rosenthal-D) Health care coverage: mid-sized employer coverage

Extends California's small employer health insurance reforms to larger groups between 51 and 100 employees by creating a "mid-sized employer" category.

(On Assembly Inactive File)

SB 406 (Rosenthal-D) Health care service plans

States the intent of the Legislature that all licensing and regulatory responsibilities for health care service plans be transferred from the State Department of Corporations to the Health Care Service Plan Board of California within the State Department of Consumer Affairs.

(In Conference)

Other legislation relating to reorganizing the regulation of health care service plans are AB 589 (Figueroa-D) and AB 1344 (Gallegos-D), which are also in Conference, and AB 910 (Cardenas-D) and AB 1515 (Alby-R), which are in Assembly Health Committee.

SB 497 (Brulte-R) Health care service plans: controlled substances

Prohibits a health care service plan from requiring registering under the federal Controlled Substance Act of 1970 for participation by an optometrist certified by the State Board of Optometry to use therapeutic pharmaceutical agents.

Chapter 120, Statutes of 1997

SB 527* (Rosenthal-D) Long-term health care

Requires insurers to offer both tax favored and non-tax favored long-term care policies and requires a disclosure that consumers have a "choice" of policies, as specified. Provides that its provisions become inoperative when the Insurance Commissioner finds, by substantial evidence, that federal law, regulations, or other relevant federal decisions permit long-term care coverage which conforms to California's eligibility requirements to qualify for favorable tax treatment, and the Insurance Commissioner issues regulations or other legally binding orders, as specified.

Double-joined with AB 1443 (Poochigian-R) and SB 1052 (Vasconcellos-D).

Chapter 701, Statutes of 1997

SB 578* (Rosenthal-D) Health care coverage

Conforms California small employer health insurance laws to recent changes in federal law related to small employer health insurance.

Chapter 336, Statutes of 1997

SB 593 (Rosenthal-D) Health care coverage

Establishes provisions for individual access to contracts for health service with plans and insurers. Imposes various requirements regarding contracts and policies for individual health coverage, including, among other things, provisions governing preexisting conditions, exclusion of late enrollees, right of renewal, determination of premium amounts, and establishing risk adjusted rates.

(In Conference)

SB 625 (Rosenthal-D) Health care service plans: drugs

Requires health care service plans that include prescription drug benefits to maintain an expedited process by which prescribing providers may obtain authorization for a medically necessary nonformulary prescription drug, and requires various disclosures and recordkeeping related to plan formularies.

(In Assembly Inactive File)

SB 687 (Hughes-D) Health coverage: medical pain management services

Requires health plan contracts and health insurance policies to describe any limitations, exceptions or exclusions to coverage for medical services for relief of pain during childbirth.

(On Assembly Inactive File)

SB 719 (Johnston-D) Health coverage: continuation of coverage

Enacts the California Continuation Benefits Replacement Act, which extends health insurance continuation coverage to employees of employers with between 2 and 19 employees, as specified. Allows an employer to provide extended coverage under Cal-COBRA to eligible former employees, their spouses, and former spouses, under health care service plan contracts and disability insurance policies issued, amended, delivered, or renewed in this state on or after January 1, 1999, to the same extent as an employer whose plan is subject to COBRA.

Chapter 665, Statutes of 1997

SB 750 (Rosenthal-D) Health care coverage

Requires health care service plans to disclose information about financial bonuses and incentives.

(On Assembly Inactive File)

SB 814 (Leslie-R) Health care: unfair payment practices

Establishes specific requirements pertaining to claims submitted to health care service plans by emergency physicians.

(In Assembly Appropriations Committee)

SB 915 (Haynes-R) Prepaid health plans

Requires Medi-Cal prepaid health plans to process either paper hard copy or electronically prepared and submitted claims, at the discretion of the providers, for out-of-plan claims.

(On Assembly Inactive File)

SB 932 (Senate Insurance Committee) Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board

Revises the statutory appointment structure of the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board in order to stagger the terms of board members.

(In Senate Appropriations Committee)

SB 955 (Rosenthal-D) Health care coverage

Authorizes every health care service plan and disability insurer to accept electronic signatures on an application for coverage or enrollment, on an authorization to review or release medical records or personal information, as acknowledgment of the disclosure of the inclusion of arbitration as a contract terms, or for any other purpose for which a signature is required.

(In Assembly Health Committee)

SB 977 (Peace-D) Health care service plans: treatment decisions

Provides that health care service plans have a duty to exercise ordinary care when making treatment decisions and will be liable for damages for harm to an enrollee caused by the health plan's failure to exercise ordinary care.

(In Assembly Judiciary Committee)

SB 984 (Rosenthal-D) Health care service plans: economic profiles

Requires health care service plans to file with the State Department of Corporations a description of any economic profiling and associated policies and procedures employed by the health plan, its medical groups, and individual practice associations (IPA). Requires health plans, medical groups and IPA's to disclose this information upon the provider's request.

(In Assembly Health Committee)

SB 998 (Burton-D) Health care coverage

Prohibits health care service plans and certain disability insurers from charging an administrative processing fee for each paper claim submitted by a provider, or otherwise passing along their administrative costs to providers, as specified.

(In Assembly Health Committee)

SB 1052* (Vasconcellos-D) Health insurance: long-term care

Requires insurers to offer both tax favored and non-tax favored long-term care policies which would include specified consumer protections related to rate increases, inflation, lapses and other risks.

Chapter 699, Statutes of 1997

SB 1062 (Peace-D) Health care service plans: confidentiality

Establishes requirements for health care service plans and health care providers regarding disclosure of patient mental health needs, including a requirement of obtaining written authorization from the patient.

Vetoed by the Governor

SB 1129 (Sher-D) Health care service plans: terminated providers

Requires health care service plans to formulate a written policy for continuity of care for an enrollee who is currently receiving care from a provider terminated by the plan.

(On Assembly Inactive File)

SB 1220 (Solis-D) Health insurance: diabetes

Requires health care service plans and health insurers that cover hospital, surgical expenses, and prescription drugs, to also cover insulin and specified items for the management and treatment of diabetes. Specifies that coverage is limited to those items prescribed by a health care professional, but includes items that are available without prescription.

Vetoed by the Governor

SB 1257 (Vasconcellos-D) Health coverage providers

Requires the State Department of Health Services, in consultation with the Medical Board of California, the State Department of Corporations, and the State Department of Insurance, to conduct a study regarding the feasibility of non-traditional medicine and to specifically examine the State of Washington's experience in requiring insurers to cover a range of treatments by non-traditional providers. Requires the study to be completed and reported to the Legislature by January 1, 1999.

Vetoed by the Governor

SB 1262 (Johnston-D) Insurance: blood test

Permits disability or life insurers to use the Food and Drug Administration approved human immuno-deficiency (HIV) antibody tests on body fluids other than blood.

Chapter 496, Statutes of 1997

SB 1277 (Leslie-R) California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Associations

Clarifies that the statutory pay-out limit of $200,000, paid to policy holders by the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association when insurance companies become insolvent, is to apply to individuals receiving health care benefits, regardless of the number of policies or contracts that an individual holds.

Chapter 497, Statutes of 1997

SB 1281 (Brulte-R) Health care coverage: mid-sized employer coverage

Extends small employer health insurance to an employer with 51-100 employees by creating a mid-sized employer health insurance category.

(In Assembly Health Committee)

SB 1292 (Calderon-D) Health care service plans: mental health

Requires a specialized health care service plan offering mental health services to permit an enrollee to continue treatment with a provider, if the enrollee must switch plans, subject to certain conditions.

(On Assembly Inactive File)

AB 7 (Brown-D) Health coverage: breast cancer

Enacts the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 1997, requiring insurers that provide coverage for mastectomies and lymph node dissections to allow the length of a hospital stay associated with those procedures to be determined by the attending physician and surgeon, in consultation with the patient, as specified.

(On Senate Inactive File)

AB 12 (Figueroa-D) Health coverage: mastectomies

Enacts the Brown-Figueroa-Hayden Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act, which requires (1) health care service plans and disability insurers to allow the length of a hospital stay to be determined by the attending physician, in consultation with the patient, (2) coverage for a postdischarge follow-up visit, by a licensed health care provider, within 48 hours of discharge, if ordered by the attending physician, (3) coverage for all complications from a mastectomy, including lymphedema, and (4) health plans to include notice regarding the mastectomy coverage in their evidence of coverage.

(On Assembly Unfinished Business File)

AB 38* (Figueroa-D) Health coverage: maternity benefits

Enacts the Newborns and Mothers Health Act of 1997, which provides that health care service plans and health insurers may not restrict benefits for inpatient hospital care for less than 48 hours for normal deliver, and less than 96 hours for a caesarean delivery, unless (1) the decision to discharge is made by the treating physician, in consultation with the mother, and (2) the plan covers a postdischarge follow-up.

Chapter 389, Statutes of 1997

AB 160 (Hertzberg-D) Health care coverage: contraceptive drugs

Enacts the Women's Contraception Equity Act, which requires health care service plans and health insurers to provide coverage for contraceptives.

(On Assembly Inactive File)

AB 162 (Alby-R) Health care service plans: disclosure form

Requires plans to provide a notice on the first page of the disclosure form that contains highlights of the major benefits.

(In Assembly Health Committee)

AB 227* (Richter-R) Health care service plans: task force

Requires travel expense reimbursement for members of the Governor's Task Force on Health Care Service Plans.

(In Senate Insurance Committee)

AB 230 (Runner-R) Income tax reduction: health insurance

Increases the percentage of health insurance costs that self-employed individuals are allowed to deduct under the Personal Income Tax Law.

(Motion to withdraw from Assembly Appropriations Committee; failed passage)

AB 305 (Wayne-D) Income tax deductions: health insurance.

Increases the income tax deduction for self-employed individuals' health insurance expenses from 25% to 100% of costs, not to exceed the amount paid for active state employees.

(In Assembly Appropriations Committee)

AB 341 (Sweeney-D) Health care coverage: second opinions

Requires a health care service plan and health insurers to pay for the medically necessary or appropriate second opinion upon request by an enrollee, as specified.

(On Senate Inactive File)

AB 399 (Gallegos-D) Health care coverage: preexisting conditions

Conforms state law to federal health care law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, by providing for guarantee issue and renewal of health care coverage, subject to specified conditions, for individuals leaving employer sponsored group coverage for self-employed individuals.

(In Conference)

AB 434 (Gallegos-D) Managed care organizations

Requests managed care organizations to provide health care providers with a reason for contract termination or nonrenewal, and provides an opportunity for binding arbitration related to the termination or nonrenewal.

(In Senate Insurance Committee)

AB 452 (Wildman-D) Health care service plans: emergency medical services

Prohibits private emergency medical transportation services from accepting payment for any pretransport medical services provided by a governmental agency, unless authorized through a specific written agreement.

Vetoed by the Governor

AB 497 (Wildman-D) Health care coverage

Requires health care service plans and health insurance providers to meet specific deadlines in responding to patient calls and scheduling requested medical appointments.

(In Senate Insurance Committee)

AB 536 (Gallegos-D) Health care service plans

Requires health care service plans to make available to the public the criteria used to determine whether to authorize or deny health care services.

Vetoed by the Governor

AB 564 (McClintock-R) Health care service plans: enforcement

Enacts a qualified immunity from liability for communications made by a consultant to the State Department of Corporations regarding whether a health care services plan is providing or arranging for health care services in accordance with law.

Chapter 139, Statutes of 1997

AB 607 (Scott-D) Health care service plans

Requires health care service plan disclosure forms to contain specific information regarding the availability of an evidence of coverage prior to enrollment, health plan telephone numbers and the establishment, availability and provision of a benefits and coverage matrix.

(On Senate Inactive File)

AB 625 (Martinez-D) Health care research: uninsured

Requires a report to the Legislature, by the Legislative Analyst, examining various issues relating to health care for the uninsured and policy options to address such issues.

Vetoed by the Governor

AB 682 (Morrow-R) Health care service plans: 24-hour access

Removes an exemption in current law providing that requirements relating to payment for emergency services do not apply to health care service plans which contract with providers for the provision of emergency services and necessary medical care. Requires the State Department of Corporations to adopt emergency regulations governing instances when an enrollee, in the opinion of the treating provider, requires necessary individual care following stabilization of an emergency medical condition.

(On Senate Inactive File)

AB 742 (Washington-D) Health care service plans

Requires health care service plans to allow a Medicare enrollee, who is discharged from an acute care hospital, to return to the skilled nursing facility, continuing care retirement community, or multilevel facility in which the enrollee resided prior to hospitalization.

(On Senate Inactive File)

AB 830 (Brewer-R) Health care coverage

Makes various changes to existing law to conform state law with federal health care law, The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, including requiring insurers and health plans that offer individual health care coverage to offer their 2 most popular health care coverage products to individuals leaving a group health plan, subject to specified conditions, and specific prohibitions on the exclusion for preexisting conditions of newborns, minors, and for conditions related to pregnancy, as specified.

(On Senate Inactive File)

AB 947 (Gallegos-D) Health care service plans: contracting providers

Requires HMO's to provide to all new enrollees, and to existing and prospective enrollees upon request, a list of contracting agencies, medical groups, independent practice associations, and contracting hospitals within the general geographic area, as specified.

(In Senate Appropriations Committee)

AB 974 (Gallegos-D) Health care service plans: prescriptions

Prohibits health care service plans from limiting coverage for a drug that had previously been approved by the plan, and requires specified disclosures regarding the use and contents of drug formularies.

(On Senate Inactive File)

AB 1053 (Thomson-D) Health care service plans

Requires health care service plans to (1) cover all pediatric vaccines that are medically necessary, (2) augment a provider's reimbursement for additions made to the child immunization schedule, and (3) prohibits plans from including vaccine costs in individual physician capitation rates.

(On Senate Inactive File)

AB 1059 (Migden-D) Health insurance: domestic partners

Requires health care service plans and health insurers that offer group coverage benefits to the dependents of an employee or subscriber to offer those benefits, on the same terms, to a domestic partner.

(On Assembly Unfinished Business File)

AB 1100 (Thomson-D) Health care coverage: mental illness

Requires health care service plans and health insurers to provide coverage for the diagnosis and medically necessary treatment of biologically-based severe mental illness for persons of all ages and serious emotional disturbances of children, and provide such coverage under the same terms and conditions applied to other medical conditions. Exempts, from all provisions relating to a health care service plan contract, a contract between the State Department of Health Services and a health care service plan for enrolled Medi-Cal beneficiaries.

(On Senate Inactive File)

AB 1126 (Villaraigosa-D) Children's health coverage

Creates the Healthy Families Program, which provides for a comprehensive subsidized health insurance program, through private insurance, for uninsured children having a gross annual income equal to or less than 200% of the federal poverty level. Specifies that this program will be administered by the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board.

Chapter 623, Statutes of 1997

AB 1175 (Shelley-D) Health care coverage: contractors

Provides that a health care service plan or health insurer's use of medical groups, or other contractors, shall not waive the health care service plan or insurer's obligations to comply, and to ensure compliance, with the law.

(On Assembly Inactive File)

AB 1181 (Escutia-D) Health care coverage: continuing care

Requires health plans to establish procedures for enrollees, needing continuing care from a specialist, to receive appropriate referrals, and requires various disclosures regarding providers and clinics participating in Medi-Cal managed care.

(On Senate Inactive File)

AB 1247 (Washington-D) Health care service plans

Requires health care service plans providing services to Medi-Cal patients to contract with public teaching hospitals to provide services to those Medi-Cal patients. Requires plans to refer Medi-Cal patients to public teaching hospitals or to provide written justification for failure to do so.

(In Assembly Health Committee)

AB 1298 (Villaraigosa-D) Health care coverage

Prohibits a health care service plan and health insurer from impeding or impairing communication on the right of free association, or free speech among enrollees or insureds, except for reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions imposed on communications and activities which take place on the private property of the plan or contracting provider in order to protect the health and safety of enrollees and employees.

(On Assembly Unfinished Business File)

AB 1354 (Davis-D) Health care coverage: obstetricians and gynecologists

Requires health care service plans and health insurers to allow an enrollee the option of seeking obstetrical and gynecological services directly from an obstetrician and gynecologist or other designated participating family practitioner.

Vetoed by the Governor

AB 1377 (Gallegos-D) Health care service plans

Deletes a provision in current law that prohibits the State Department of Corporations (DOC) from disclosing to the public corrected deficiencies identified in DOC financial examinations of HMO's, and further reforms DOC's system for examining an HMO's financial affairs. Specifies that second opinion policies submitted by HMO's are not subject to approval or disapproval by DOC. Repeals the requirement in law that nonprofit hospital service plan file second opinon policies.

(On Assembly Inactive File)

AB 1483* (Gallegos-D) Long-term care policies

Requires insurers offering "federally tax qualified" long-term care insurance policies to also offer federally non tax qualified policies, as specified.

Chapter 700, Statutes of 1997

AB 1553* (Assembly Insurance Committee) Insurance: maternity benefits

Amends the notification requirements of AB 38, relating to maternity coverage by health care service plans and health insurers, to require these plans and insurers to inform only those female policyholders between the ages of 10 and 50 of postdelivery inpatient hospital coverage that is required by law.

Chapter 798, Statutes of 1997

AB 1557* (Gallegos-D) Health coverage: arbitration clauses

Requires health care service plans to provide for selection, by the parties, of a single neutral arbitrator for all cases or disputes, regardless of the damage amount. Eliminates the requirement of law for the use of the method for court appointment of an arbitrator. Requires plans to use a professional dispute resolution and meet certain requirements in cases of extreme hardship and where the plan does not permit the enrollee or subscriber to reject the arbitration requirement. Prohbiits a health care service plan from enforcing any requirement that a dispute between the plan and an enrollee be resolved by arbitration, if certain conditions are met.

(In Senate Judiciary Committee)


SB 18* (Rosenthal-D) Department of Insurance: fund transfers

Requires unclaimed Proposition 103 rebates to repay a $14 million loan made to the State Department of Insurance (DOI). Appropriates $10 million from the General Fund to the Insurance Fund in equal payments over 3 years to resolve issues raised by pending litigation in a specified case rendering it alleged unlawful transfer of money from the Insurance Fund to the General Fund. Allows the payment of a sum not to exceed $50,000 for payment of plaintiff's attorney fees in that case. Requires the money to be used to fund DOI consumer services programs, or for investigations and enforcement actions against department licensees, through fiscal years 1999-2000.

Chapter 239, Statutes of 1997

Provisions of SB 17 (Rosenthal-D) were incorporated into SB 18.

SB 76 (Kopp-I) Life insurance companies: property tax

Requires assessors to compile and make public, on or before July 1, 1998, a list of the life insurance companies that have filed an Insurance Company Separate Account Property Statement.

Chapter 94, Statutes of 1997

SB 203 (Lewis-R) Life insurers: mortality table

Permits the Insurance Commissioner to issue a bulletin to adopt updated mortality tables used to asess life insurers' reserves.

Chapter 28, Statutes of 1997

SB 204 (Lewis-R) Life insurance: disclosure

Exempts life insurance "policy illustrations" and "cost indexes" from the requirement that insurance licencees print their license number on specified insurance products provided to consumers. Clarifies that the current percentage limits on foreign investments by insurers with admitted assets that exceed $500 million apply to the insurers' admitted assets consisting of foreign investments within specified rating bonds.

Chapter 312, Statutes of 1997

SB 225 (Kopp-I) Insurance Commissioner

Provides that the people are to vote on an initiative which renders the position of Insurance Commissioner an appointed, rather than elective office subject to confirmation by the Senate and the Assembly.

(Failed passage on Assembly Floor; on Assembly Inactive File.)

SB 245 (Haynes-R) Insurance: aircraft: skydiving

Specifies that aircraft financial responsibility requirements are not required to cover injury or death solely related to hazardous risks associated with skydiving. Requires the reporting of damage to an aircraft.

Chapter 333, Statutes of 1997

SB 272 (Johnson-R) Insurers: examination by commissioner

Requires the State Department of Insurance, except as specified, prior to examining an insurer, to hold a conference with the insurer. Requires the department to submit a detailed plan, and to establish a process and regulations for insurers to challenge exam fees.

(Failed passage in Assembly Insurance Committee; reconsideration granted)

SB 319 (Burton-D) Title Insurance

Requires that title insurance policies are to be assumable by a re-financer of real property, as specified.

(Failed passage on Assembly Floor)

SB 343 (Calderon-D) Insurance: cancellation

Provides that when the owner of a variable annuity, variable life or modified guaranteed contract returns it during its cancellation period, the account value and policy fee shall be refunded within 30 days.

Chapter 113, Statutes of 1997

SB 380 (Peace-D) Insurance: agents/brokers and reports

Exempts, from from specified continuing education requirements, insurance agents or brokers who have been licensed in good standing for 30 continous years in California and are 70 years of age or older. Changes reporting requirements for unavailable and unaffordable insurance by allowing insurers to report information specified by the Insurance Commissioner to a licensed advisory organization.

Chapter 350, Statutes of 1997

SB 482 (Lewis-R) Insurance: financial statements

Revises certain reporting requirements so that specified financial statements, submitted by insurers to the State Department of Insurance, are submitted in triplicate, rather than quadruplicate. Repeals the requirement that insurers publish financial statements in local newspapers.

Chapter 315, Statutes of 1997

SB 511 (Senate Insurance Committee) Insurance adjusters

Requires "qualified managers" who supervise insurance adjusters to comply with a specified license renewal process, and expresses legislative intent with regard to provisions of law defining the term "insurance adjusters."

Chapter 96, Statutes of 1997

SB 512* (Rosenthal-D) Department of Insurance: audits

Appropriates $907,595 from the General Fund to the State Department of Insurance for the purpose of funding, for the 1997-98 fiscal year, the tax return processing and tax audit duties of the department.

Chapter 894, Statutes of 1997

Similar legislation is SB 956 (Rosenthal-D), which is in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee.

SB 662 (Senate Insurance Committee) Insurance: conversion

Permits mutual property-casualty insurance companies to convert to stock property-casualty insurers by means of establishing a mutual holding company, with the approval of the Insurance Commissioner, as specified.

(On Senate Inactive File)

SB 663 (Rosenthal-D) Insurance: liquidation

Permits the Insurance Commissioner to resolve long-tail claims against insolvent insurers through actuarial estimation, subject to approval by the court overseeing the liquidation.

(Failed passage in Senate Insurance Committee; reconsideration granted)

SB 678 (Leslie-R) Insurance: surplus lines

Authorizes surplus line brokers and nonadmitted insurers to advertise to other insurance licensees, but not to the general public; and specifies how these "image advertisements" may be undertaken.

(In Assembly Insurance Committee)

SB 695 (Rainey-R) Insurance Claims Analysis Bureau

Revises the qualifications for applicants seeking a license as an insurance claims analysis bureau, and requires the filing of an additional statement regarding the ability of certain insurers to submit claims information to the bureau and the availability of information on the bureau's data base to state law enforcement agencies.

Chapter 501, Statutes of 1997

SB 859 (Lewis-R) Insurance: rate hearings

Exempts an insurer's proposed rate adjustment from prior approval by the Insurance Commissioner when it yields a rate reduction of no more than 7% for personal lines and no more than 15% for commercial lines, as specified.

(In Assembly Insurance Committee)

SB 953 (Rosenthal-D) Insurance: fraud

Deletes the Insurance Commissioner's duties cancelling insurance fraud cases and, instead, provides for a peace officer employed by the Bureau of Fraudulent Claims in the State Department of Insurance to report violations of fraud upon making an independent determination that sufficient evidence of fraud exists to institute probable cause of violation of law, as sepcified.

(In Senate Insurance Committee)

SB 979 (Peace-D) Insurance taxation: confirmation

Provides that a written agency or written brokerage contract where the broker-agent represents the insurer has been in effect for at least 1 year, shall not be ended or amended by an insurer without complying with the requirement contained in the general regulations covering the business of insurance law.

(On Senate Inactive File)

SB 985 (Rosenthal-D) Insurance: bad faith

Increases the amount of civil liability that the Insurance Commissioner is allowed to impose for unfair claims practices. Establishes a 5 member advisory board on the prosecution of unfair claims settlement practices in the State Department of Insurance and requires the commissioner, in consultation with the advisory board, to appoint a task force of outside legal counsel to review and investigate such practices. Imposes a $3 million assessment on insurers to pay for the program under this bill.

(In Senate Judiciary Committee)

SB 997* (Schiff-D) Title insurance

Creates and funds the Antirebate Investigation and Enforcement Unit within the State Department of Insurance to enforce statutes which prohibit title companies from paying kickbacks to real estate agents and brokers for refunds. Sunsets on January 1, 2001.

Chapter 434, Statutes of 1997

SB 1042 (Johnston-D) Insurers: insolvency

Provides that any covered policyholder's claim that is submitted to the Insurance Commissioner after a person subject to a court order to liquidate is dissolved and wound up is to be accepted and processed by the California Insurance Guarantee Association, as specified. Requires specified notice to those affected by an insurance company insolvency.

(In Assembly Appropriations Committee)

SB 1097 (Kopp-I) Insurance Commissioner: contributions

Prohibits any persons regulated by the Insurance Commissioner, and persons or committees which are acting on behalf of regulated persons, from making campaign contributions to a candidate for the Office of Insurance Commissioner, as specified.

(Failed passage on Senate Floor; placed on Senate Inactive File)

SB 1137 (Kopp-I) Insurance: viatical settlements

Specifies that life and disability agents are eligible to be licensed as viatical settlement brokers, and requires the Insurance Commissioner to adopt conflict-of-interest regulations.

Chapter 278, Statutes of 1997

SB 1153 (Johnson-R) Self-insurance pools

Provides that a joint pwers agreement may provide that all contributions to joint powers self-insurance pools are non-refundable, as specified. Specifies that this provision does not apply to lawsuits filed before May 2, 1994.

Chapter 131, Statutes of 1997

SB 1277 (Leslie-R) California Insurance Guarantee Associations

Changes the priority for paying claims against the estate of insolvent insurers by placing the Calilfornia Insurance Guarantee Association and similar entities ahead of federal, state and Department of Insurance claims. Defines "unearned premium."

Double-joined with AB 1138 (Cunneen-R).

Chapter 497, Statues of 1997

SB 1315 (Burton-D) Insurance

Requires commercial and workers' compensation insurers who fail to renew a policy to, on request, provide a premium and loss history report.

Chapter 385, Statutes of 1997

AB 34 (Figueroa-D) Insurers: insolvency and delinquency

Specifies that the payment of any benefit to an owner or shareholder of an insurer or other person is prohibited until the claims of all policyholders, third-party claimants, creditors, and other persons having an interest in the business and assets of the insurer as other persons have been allowed and paid, or disallowed. Allows an owner or shareholder to enter into a contract or agreement regarding the future receipt of a benefit, subject to certain conditions.

(In Senate Insurance Committee)

AB 245 (Cunneen-R) Insurance: surplus line brokers

Clarifies that a surplus line broker may originate business, or may accept business directly; and provides that the surplus line broker may reasonably rely on information provided by an originating licensee.

Chapter 102, Statutes of 1997

AB 333 (Figueroa-D) Insurance: agents

Requires persons who take an applicition for, solicit, sell, negotiate, interpret, procure, or place for others any kind of insurance, to be licensed unless they are exempt from the licensure requirements.

(In Assembly Insurance Committee)

AB 349 (Firestone-R) Insurance: fraud

Provides confidentiality protection for information provided by district attorneys to the State Department of Insurance (DOI) on insurance fraud criminal investigations supplied in the course of applying for DOI funding.

Double-joined with AB 1004 (Thompson-R) and SB 695 (Rainey-R).

Chapter 364, Statutes of 1997

AB 489 (Figueroa-D) Life insurance

Provides a terminally ill person the right to assign his or her interest in a life insurance policy to a third party.

Chapter 440, Statutes of 1997

AB 587 (Figueroa-D) Insurance risks

Prohibits most insurers from using credit reports or credit scoring models to underwrite, classify, or rate insurance risks. Exempts (1) surety insurance, (2) workers' compensation insurance, (3) credit insurance, (4) commercial insurance, and (5) mortgage guaranty insurance.

(Failed passage on Assembly Floor; placed on Assembly Inactive File)

AB 588 (Figueroa-D) Insurance: domestic violence

Prohibits discrimination by property and casualty insurers based on the domestic violence status of the applicant or insured.

Chapter 845, Statutes of 1997

AB 649 (Napolitano-D) Insurance: domestic violence

Prohibits discrimination by life insurers based on the domestic violence status of the applicant or insured.

Chapter 176, Statutes of 1997

AB 816 (Brewer-R) Surplus line brokers

Permits surplus line brokers to obtain certain required signatures by FAX transmittal, exempts surplus lines special lines brokers from using the List of Eligible Surplus Line Insurers, and specifically authorizes the Insurance Commissioner to investigate any nonadmitted special lines insurer and prohibit further placements as appropriate. Adds spacecraft to lines of insurance exempt from limitations on placement with nonadmitted insurers and conforms this bill with AB 245 (Cunneen-R).

Chapter 436, Statutes of 1997

AB 887 (Ortiz-D) Firearms: insurance study

Requires each insurer issuing a policy of residential property insurance to provide certain data concerning injuries and deaths involving firearms to the Insurance Commissioner on or before June 30, 2000, as specified.

(In Assembly Insurance Committee)

AB 1004 (Thompson-R) Insurance: fraud

Provides that the Bureau of Fraudulent Claims in the State Department of Insurance and local district attorneys will each receive not less than 40% of the workers' compensation fraud assessment funds rather than each receiving half of these funds for the investigation and prosecution of workers' compensation fraud.

Chapter 99, Statutes of 1997

AB 1109 (Escutia-D) Insurance: bad faith

Reinstates a private course of action, eliminated by the California Supreme Court, by authorizing an insured, prospective policyholder, or third-party claimant not the policyholder to bring an action against the person engaged in the business of insurance to recover specified damages.

(On Assembly Inactive File)

AB 1120 (Knox-D) Insurance: inception of loss

Extends the period a homeowner has to report a loss under a homeowner's policy from 12 months after the loss occurred to 12 months after a reasonable insured would have been aware that there was damage.

(On Assembly Inactive File)

AB 1148 (Cunneen-R) California Insurance Guarantee Association

Permits that the California Insurance Guarantee Association to pay claims against an insolvent insurer where the insolvent insurer has assumed the policies from an insurer which is no longer admitted in California.

Chapter 372, Statutes of 1997

AB 1309 (Machado-D) Liability insurance: construction defects

Provides that a general liability insurance policy issued to a contractor or real estate developer may not cover any injury or progressive damage that results from a defect in construction that was reported to or discovered by the contractor or real estate developer or his or her agent prior to issuance of the policy.

(In Assembly Insurance Committee)

AB 1399 (Cardenas-D) Home protection insurance contracts

Exempts affiliates of electric companies which are regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission from the Home Protection Contract provisions of the Insurance Code when they provide home electric and telephone wiring warranty contracts. Sunsets January 1, 2004.

Chapter 523, Statutes of 1997

AB 1486 (Floyd-D) Insurance

Provides that it is an unfair or deceptive practice for an insurance company to use deceptive representations or fail to disclose material facts in connection with the sale of any insurance policy or product. Provides that insurance institutions are fiduciaries of those persons to whom they sell insurance, with respect to any confidential financial and personal information received by the insurance institution.

(In Assembly Judiciary Committee)

AB 1524 (Leonard-R) Title insurance

Excludes from the definition of "title insurance" representations and warranties made in connection with the sale or origination of a loan for sale to the secondary market by specified institutional third parties, and makes other changes to the law.

(In Assembly Insurance Committee)

AB 1529 (Brewer-R) Insurance: fraud reporting

Recodifies various provisions relating to immunity for insurance fraud into one code section, and extends an existing immunity for release of privileged personal information among insurance organizations and agents.

(Failed passage in Assembly Insurance Committee)

AB 1553* (Assembly Insurance Committee) Insurance fraud complaints

Authorizes the State Department of Insurance to assess insurers late changes in cases where these changes are not currently authorized. Requires late changes to be deposited into the General Fund, instead of the Insurance Fund. Requires specified insurers, when issuing new policies, to disclose 1 or more of the following: (1) their address and telephone number, (2) the address and telephone number of the agent or broker of record, or (3) both the addresses and telephone numbers of the insurer and the agent or broker of record.

Chapter 798, Statutes of 1997