BILL NUMBER: AB 3027	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  MARCH 13, 2008

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member De Leon

                        FEBRUARY 22, 2008

   An act to add Section 1367.041 to the Health and Safety Code, and
to add Section 10133.81 to the Insurance Code, relating to health
care coverage.



	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 3027, as amended, De Leon. Health care coverage: disclosures:
foreign languages.
   Existing law provides for  the  licensing and regulation
of health care service plans by the Department of Managed Health
Care. Existing law provides for  licensing and  
the  regulation of health insurers by the  Department of
 Insurance  Commissioner  . Existing law
provides that a willful violation of provisions governing health care
service plans is a crime.
   Existing law requires health care service plans and health
insurers to make various disclosures relative to health care benefits
covered by the plan or insurer and various other matters, and to
provide  access to  translated materials  and
interpreters  in specified situations pursuant to regulations
adopted by the Director of  the Department of  Managed
Health Care or the Insurance Commissioner, as applicable. 
    This 
    By January 30, 2009, this  bill would require 
all required disclosures by health care service plans and health
insurers relating to benefits and cost-sharing to be made available
to consumers in the 12 most prominent languages spoken in California
  the Department of Managed Health Care and the
Department of Insurance to jointly develop a uniform document in all
Medi-Cal threshold languages to be distributed, on and after March 2,
2009, by every health care service plan and health insurer to their
enrollees, subscribers, insureds, or policy holders annually and with
specified correspondence for purposes of providing information on,
and arranging for, interpreter services pursuant to plan or insurer
toll-free telephone numbers, as specified  . Because a willful
violation of this requirement by a health care service plan would be
a crime, this bill would thereby 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.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: yes.


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

   SECTION 1.    Section 1367.041 is added to the 
 Health and Safety Code   , to read:  
   1367.041.  (a) On or before January 30, 2009, the department and
the Department of Insurance shall jointly develop a uniform document
in all Medi-Cal threshold languages for distribution pursuant to
subdivision (b) that contains the following statements: "IMPORTANT:
You can get FREE interpreting assistance to talk to your doctor or
health plan or insurer. Call your health plan's or insurer's
toll-free telephone number located on this page and they will arrange
for an interpreter to help you. You can also ask if there are
materials written in your language." The document shall also include
appropriate contact information for the department and the Department
of Insurance to assist enrollees, subscribers, policyholders, or
insureds with difficulties in, or complaints about, accessing their
health care service plans or insurers.
   (b) On and after March 2, 2009, every health care service plan
shall distribute the document described in subdivision (a) with
annual enrollment or disenrollment correspondence, all notices and
forms, and any appointment-related information. The document shall
also be mailed to all enrollees in at least one separate mailing on
June 1 of each year.
   (c) Every health care service plan shall, upon distribution
pursuant to subdivision (b), include on the document the plan's
specific toll-free telephone number for purposes of enrollee
assistance in arranging those services.
   (d) The department shall monitor plan compliance with this section
as part of its regular auditing and oversight process. 
   SEC. 2.    Section 10133.81 is added to the 
 Insurance Code   , to read:  
   10133.81.  (a) On or before January 30, 2009, the department and
the Department of Managed Health Care shall jointly develop a uniform
document in all Medi-Cal threshold languages for distribution
pursuant to subdivision (b) that contains the following statements:
"IMPORTANT: You can get FREE interpreting assistance to talk to your
doctor or health plan or insurer. Call your health plan's or insurer'
s toll-free telephone number located on this page and they will
arrange for an interpreter to help you. You can also ask if there are
materials written in your language." The document shall also include
appropriate contact information for the department and the
Department of Managed Health Care to assist enrollees, subscribers,
policyholders, or insureds with difficulties in, or complaints about,
accessing their health plans or insurers.
   (b) On and after March 2, 2009, every insurer shall distribute the
document described in subdivision (a) with annual enrollment or
disenrollment correspondence, all notices and forms, and any
appointment-related information. The document shall also be mailed to
all insureds in at least one separate mailing on June 1 of each
year.
   (c) Every insurer shall, upon distribution pursuant to subdivision
(b), include on the document the insurer's specific toll-free
telephone number for purposes of assisting insureds in arranging
those services.
   (d) The department shall monitor insurer compliance with this
section as part of its regular auditing and oversight process. 

  SECTION 1.    Section 1367.041 is added to the
Health and Safety Code, to read:
   1367.041.  Notwithstanding Section 1367.0405 or any other
provision of law, all disclosures required by this chapter by health
care service plans relating to enrollee benefits and cost-sharing
shall be made available to consumers in the 12 most prominent
languages spoken in California. The director shall enforce this
requirement.  
  SEC. 2.    Section 10133.81 is added to the
Insurance Code, to read:
   10133.81.  Notwithstanding Section 10133.8 or any other provision
of law, all disclosures required by this part by health insurers
relating to insured benefits and cost-sharing shall be made available
to consumers in the 12 most prominent languages spoken in
California. The commissioner shall enforce this requirement.

  SEC. 3.  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.