Sacramento, CA – Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan’s (D-Orinda) AB 1309 passed off the Assembly floor and now heads to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk. AB 1309 shifts the existing open enrollment period by 15 days, and eliminates lapses in coverage for those who purchase health insurance through the Covered California Health Exchange or the individual health exchange market.
This past year, California shifted the end of the open enrollment period from January 31st to January 15th for those who seek coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This shortened time period resulted in a precipitous drop in new enrollment by 24%. Bauer-Kahan’s bill would shift the date back to January 31st. This allows individuals and families extra time to enroll after the conclusion of the hectic holiday season to choose the plan that is best for themselves and their families.
Additionally, under AB 1309, February 1st will be the effective date of coverage for those who purchase insurance. This eliminates the existing 2 week gap in coverage currently in place. Consumers currently suffer under a system where they purchase coverage, but don’t see that coverage kick in for weeks. This bill was supported by Health Access California and over a dozen other healthcare advocate groups.
“Lapses in coverage when purchasing insurance on the individual market keeps Californians vulnerable and at risk for themselves and their families,” said Bauer-Kahan. I’m proud that we addressed the lapses in coverage because when you pay for coverage – you should have access to care.”
“As the Trump Administration continues to seek ways to sabotage the ACA, such as cutting the length of time people have to sign up for coverage, California is shoring up our individual market and making it work better for consumers,” said Ronald Coleman, Director of Policy & Legislative Advocacy at Health Access California.
AB 1309 has received bi-partisan support in both houses and is the 6th bill that Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan has sent to the Governor’s office.