From the Agent’s Desk: New 2012 Laws and California Group Benefits

According to a recent press release from the California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, there are new laws that affect aspects of California Group Benefits.  These new laws became effective January 1, 2012 and deal with a range of topics.

Here are some of the highlights:

AB 210: requires all group health insurance policies to provide coverage for maternity services for all participants covered under the policy.

AB 378: benefits the workers compensation system by lessening the amount of abuse from compound medication prescriptions and dispensing.  This helps to deal with the main cost driver and over-billing in the workers comp system.

SB 220: in a group life policy, coverage can continue for children age 26 years and younger, regardless of the child’s marital or full-time student status.

SB 299: amendment to existing law that prohibits an employer from refusing to allow a leave of absence (for up to 4 months) for a female employee who is disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.  Also prohibits the employer from refusing to pay for group health coverage, if the employee takes said leave.

SB 757: every group health contract and/or policy is subject to the requirement to provide equal coverage to domestic partners (based on coverage provided for spouses) no matter if the employer is out-of-state.

If you have any questions regarding these new laws or you’re interested in starting a new California Group Benefits plan, give us a call!  There are many options available and we’ll be happy to discuss them with you.  Our dedicated team at the J. Morey Company is here to help!