Release: Senator Hernandez’ Bill to Ban Junk Insurance Approved by the Senate

May 21, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Today, the State Senate approved passage of Senate Bill 910, which prohibits the sale of short term limited duration health insurance in California.

Authored by Senator Ed Hernandez, O.D. (D-West Covina) and approved by bipartisan a vote of 27-10, SB 910 was introduced in response to the Trump Administration’s recent proposed regulations to expand short term limited duration coverage to less than 12 months.

“California will not allow the federal government to sabotage and destabilize our health care system. We must protect patients from this confusing and misleading false sense of coverage,” said Senator Hernandez, chair of the Senate Health Committee. “SB 910 would prevent junk insurance from being sold in our state. Let’s not go back to the days before the Affordable Care Act.”

This bill was introduced to make clear short term insurance is not allowed in California contrary to Trump Administration’s recent proposed regulations to expand short term limited duration coverage to less than 12 months. These policies not only undermine California’s progress under the ACA, but also imperil the financial stability of anyone who buys them.

These short-term plans do not have to cover essential health benefits, like cancer treatment, substance use treatment, or maternity care. Additionally, these plans can deny coverage altogether for those with pre-existing conditions.

Prohibiting junk insurance in California will ensure that we keep our Affordable Care Act protections so that patients don’t go into debt from their care or are denied coverage completely.

An issue brief released by the Urban Institute in March 2018 indicates that average individual market premiums would increase approximately 18% in 2019 in the states that do not prohibit or limit these plans.

SB 910 fact sheet

California Health Care Foundation Report: Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance and Risks to California’s Insurance Market

###