BILL NUMBER: AB 722	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  APRIL 13, 2009

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal
   (Coauthors: Assembly Members Beall and Chesbro)

                        FEBRUARY 26, 2009

   An act  to add Section 1374.74 to the Health and Safety Code
and to   add Section 10144.7 to the Insurance Code, 
relating to health care coverage.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 722, as amended, Bonnie Lowenthal. Preexisting conditions.
   Existing law provides for licensing and regulation of health care
service plans by the Department of Managed Health Care. Existing law
provides for the regulation of health insurers by the Insurance
Commissioner. Existing law authorizes a health care service plan or
health insurer to exclude an applicant from coverage for a specified
time for preexisting conditions.  A willful violation of
provisions governing health care service plans is a crime. 
   This bill would  state the intent of the Legislature, in
the absence of comprehensive health care reform that guarantees group
coverage to all, to enact legislation to provide that a person with
a history of seeking mental health treatment or of having a
prescription for mental health medication shall not be determined to
have a preexisting condition or otherwise be denied coverage by a
health care service plan or a health insurer   prohibit
an individual health care service plan contract or health insurance
policy from denying coverage to, or excluding coverage for, an
enrollee or insured due to a preexisting condition provision or
otherwise, as specified, due to a mental or physical condition that
is not life threatening nor chronic or severe, that is not considered
to be a present condition at the time of enrollment, and for which
the enrollee or insured has not received treatment for the past 12
months. By imposing a new requirement on health care service plans,
the willful violation of which would be a crime, the bill 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.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee:  no
  yes  . State-mandated local program:  no
  yes  .


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

   SECTION 1.    Section 1374.74 is added to the 
 Health and Safety Code   , to read:  
   1374.74.  Notwithstanding Section 1357.51 or any other provision
of law, an individual health care service plan contract shall not
deny coverage to, or exclude coverage for, an enrollee on the basis
of a preexisting condition provision or a waivered condition
provision or impose a waiting or affiliation period due to a mental
or physical condition that is not life threatening nor chronic or
severe, that is not considered to be a present condition at the time
of enrollment, and for which the enrollee has not received treatment
for the past 12 months. 
   SEC. 2.    Section 10144.7 is added to the  
Insurance Code   , to read:  
   10144.7.  Notwithstanding Section 10198.7 or any other provision
of law, an individual health insurance policy shall not deny coverage
to, or exclude coverage for, an insured on the basis of a
preexisting condition provision or a waivered condition provision or
impose a waiting or affiliation period due to a mental or physical
condition that is not life threatening nor chronic or severe, that is
not considered to be a present condition at the time of enrollment,
and for which the insured has not received treatment for the past 12
months. 
   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.  
  SECTION 1.    It is the intent of the Legislature,
in the absence of comprehensive health care reform that guarantees
group coverage to all, to enact legislation to provide that a person
with a history of seeking mental health treatment or of having a
prescription for mental health medication shall not be determined to
have a preexisting condition or otherwise be denied coverage by a
health care service plan or a health insurer.