6/2012: The new Health Benefits Exchange, California’s health insurance marketplace of the future, plans this month to submit a major grant request to the federal government, which will fund its operation through its first year of full operation in 2014. In preparation for this, the Board will be making several foundational decisions on the goals, capacity, infrastructure, and business model for getting Californians covered on day one and beyond.
7/1/2012: While some of the health laws passed in 2011 go into effect on January, some notable benefit mandates come into place on July 1. This includes maternity coverage, which will on this date be required to be included in individual and small group policies–reversing a disturbing trend in the last decade that left many pregnant mothers and infants without this crucial, life-changing care. Federal guidance that came out in late 2011 allow states some flexibility in setting “essential health benefits” in 2014 and beyond, so that will be a topic for policymakers in 2012.