BILL NUMBER: AB 2208	CHAPTERED
	BILL TEXT

	CHAPTER  488
	FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE  SEPTEMBER 13, 2004
	APPROVED BY GOVERNOR  SEPTEMBER 13, 2004
	PASSED THE ASSEMBLY  AUGUST 25, 2004
	PASSED THE SENATE  AUGUST 19, 2004
	AMENDED IN SENATE  AUGUST 16, 2004
	AMENDED IN SENATE  JULY 6, 2004
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  APRIL 27, 2004
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  APRIL 12, 2004

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Kehoe
   (Principal coauthors:  Assembly Members Koretz and Lieber)
   (Coauthors:  Assembly Members Dymally, Goldberg, Laird, Leno,
Levine, Nation, Ridley-Thomas, and Wolk)
   (Coauthors:  Senators Kuehl, Romero, Soto, Speier, and
Vasconcellos)

                        FEBRUARY 18, 2004

   An act to amend Section 1374.58 of the Health and Safety Code, and
to amend Section 10121.7 of, and to add Section 381.5 to, the
Insurance Code, relating to domestic partners.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 2208, Kehoe.  Health care and insurance benefits.
   Existing law, the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975,
provides for the licensure and regulation of health care service
plans and makes a violation of the act's provisions a crime.
Existing law also provides for the regulation of health insurers and
all other forms of insurance by the Department of Insurance.  Under
existing law, health care service plans and health insurers are
required to offer coverage for the domestic partner of an employee,
subscriber, insured, or policyholder to the same extent and subject
to the same terms and conditions as provided to a dependent of those
persons.
   This bill would require a health care service plan and a health
insurer to provide coverage to the registered domestic partner of an
employee, subscriber, insured, or policyholder that is equal to the
coverage it provides to the spouse of those persons.  The bill would
extend this requirement to all other forms of insurance regulated by
the Department of Insurance and would deem that all of those policies
as well as health care service plans and health insurance policies
issued, amended, delivered, or renewed in this state on or after
January 1, 2005, or January 2, 2005, as specified, provide registered
domestic partner coverage equal to that provided to spouses.
   Because the bill would specify additional requirements for a
health care service plan, the violation of which would be a crime, it
would impose a state-mandated local program.
  The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local
agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state.  Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
reimbursement.
   This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:


  SECTION 1.  This act shall be known and may be cited as the
California Insurance Equality Act.
  SEC. 2.  Section 1374.58 of the Health and Safety Code is amended
to read:
   1374.58.  (a) A group health care service plan that provides
hospital, medical, or surgical expense benefits shall provide equal
coverage to employers or guaranteed associations, as defined in
Section 1357, for the registered domestic partner of an employee or
subscriber to the same extent, and subject to the same terms and
conditions, as provided to a spouse of the employee or subscriber,
and shall inform employers and guaranteed associations of this
coverage.  A plan may not offer or provide coverage for a registered
domestic partner that is not equal to the coverage provided to the
spouse of an employee or subscriber.
   (b) If an employer or guaranteed association has purchased
coverage for spouses and registered domestic partners pursuant to
subdivision (a), a health care service plan that provides hospital,
medical, or surgical expense benefits for employees or subscribers
and their spouses shall enroll, upon application by the employer or
group administrator, a registered domestic partner of an employee or
subscriber in accordance with the terms and conditions of the group
contract that apply generally to all spouses under the plan,
including coordination of benefits.
   (c) For purposes of this section, the term "domestic partner"
shall have the same meaning as that term is used in Section 297 of
the Family Code.
   (d) (1) A health care service plan may require that the employee
or subscriber verify the status of the domestic partnership by
providing to the plan a copy of a valid Declaration of Domestic
Partnership filed with the Secretary of State pursuant to Section 298
of the Family Code or an equivalent document issued by a local
agency of this state, another state, or a local agency of another
state under which the partnership was created.  The plan may also
require that the employee or subscriber notify the plan upon the
termination of the domestic partnership.
   (2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a health care service plan may
require the information described in that paragraph only if it also
requests from the employee or subscriber whose spouse is provided
coverage, verification of marital status and notification of
dissolution of the marriage.
   (e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to expand the
requirements of Section 4980B of Title 26 of the United States Code,
Section 1161, and following, of Title 29 of the United States Code,
or Section 300bb-1, and following, of Title 42 of the United States
Code, as added by the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
of 1985 (Public Law 99-272), and as those provisions may be later
amended.
   (f) A plan subject to this section that is issued, amended,
delivered, or renewed in this state on or after January 2, 2005,
shall be deemed to provide coverage for registered domestic partners
that is equal to the coverage provided to a spouse of an employee or
subscriber.
  SEC. 3.  Section 381.5 is added to the Insurance Code, to read:
   381.5.  (a) Every policy issued, amended, delivered, or renewed in
this state shall provide coverage for the registered domestic
partner of an insured or policyholder that is equal to, and subject
to the same terms and conditions as, the coverage provided to a
spouse of an insured or policyholder.  A policy may not offer or
provide coverage for a registered domestic partner if it is not equal
to the coverage provided for the spouse of an insured or
policyholder.  This subdivision applies to all forms of insurance
regulated by this code.
   (b) A policy subject to this section that is issued, amended,
delivered, or renewed in this state on or after January 1, 2005,
shall be deemed to provide coverage for registered domestic partners
that is equal to the coverage provided to a spouse of an insured or
policyholder.
   (c) It is the intent of the Legislature that, for purposes of this
section, "terms," "conditions," and "coverage" do not include
instances of differential treatment of domestic partners and spouses
under federal law.
  SEC. 4.  Section 10121.7 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

   10121.7.  (a) A policy of group health insurance that provides
hospital, medical, or surgical expense benefits shall provide equal
coverage to employers or guaranteed associations, as defined in
Section 10700, for the registered domestic partner of an employee,
insured, or policyholder to the same extent, and subject to the same
terms and conditions, as provided to a spouse of the employee,
insured, or policyholder, and shall inform employers and guaranteed
associations of this coverage.  A policy may not offer or provide
coverage for a registered domestic partner that is not equal to the
coverage provided to the spouse of an employee, insured, or
policyholder.
   (b) If an employer or guaranteed association has purchased
coverage for spouses and registered domestic partners pursuant to
subdivision (a), a health insurer that provides hospital, medical, or
surgical expense benefits for employees, insureds, or policyholders
and their spouses shall enroll, upon application by the employer or
group administrator, a registered domestic partner of the employee,
insured, or policyholder in accordance with the terms and conditions
of the group contract that apply generally to all spouses under the
policy, including coordination of benefits.
   (c) For purposes of this section, the term "domestic partner"
shall have the same meaning as that term is used in Section 297 of
the Family Code.
   (d) (1) A policy of group health insurance may require that the
employee, insured, or policyholder verify the status of the domestic
partnership by providing to the insurer a copy of a valid Declaration
of Domestic Partnership filed with the Secretary of State pursuant
to Section 298 of the Family Code or an equivalent document issued by
a local agency of this state, another state, or a local agency of
another state under which the partnership was created.  The policy
may also require that the employee, insured, or policyholder notify
the insurer upon the termination of the domestic partnership.
   (2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a policy may require the
information described in that paragraph only if it also requests from
the employee, insured, or policyholder whose spouse is provided
coverage, verification of marital status and notification of
dissolution of the marriage.
   (e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to expand the
requirements of Section 4980B of Title 26 of the United States Code,
Section 1161, and following, of Title 29 of the United States Code,
or Section 300bb-1, and following, of Title 42 of the United States
Code, as added by the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
of 1985 (Public Law 99-272), and as those provisions may be later
amended.
   (f) A group health insurance policy subject to this section that
is issued, amended, delivered, or renewed in this state on or after
January 2, 2005, shall be deemed to provide coverage for registered
domestic partners that is equal to the coverage provided to a spouse
of an employee, insured, or policyholder.
  SEC. 5.  No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
Constitution.