California moves quickly on reform law implementation

Tools

California lawmakers are working quickly to implement the health reform law and overhaul the state's insurance market, making the state a testing ground for many of the reform's provisions, the Los Angeles Times reported. In fact, Gov. Jerry Brown will likely call a special session of the legislature next month that will run concurrently with the regular session so any bills he signs can take effect within 90 days. "It's a very, very big undertaking to make the promise of the Affordable Care Act a reality," said state Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley. "We are working as hard and as fast as we can in a very complex area with a lot of conflicting information." First up, legislators want to pass rules regulating enrollment in the state-run health insurance exchange, including requiring insurers to cover patients with pre-existing conditions and limiting how much they can charge based on members' ages. Additionally, California lawmakers will consider rules creating a new health plan, known as the Basic Health Plan, for people who can't afford health coverage on the open market but don't qualify for Medi-Cal. Article