Blue Shield of California is mailing Small Business and Core Group Administrators letters and endorsements explaining recent changes based on the following California laws and regulations.
Please see the attached letters for additional information.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires Blue Shield of California and other health insurance carriers to spend a minimum percentage of plan members’ premium on medical expenses, known as the “Medical Loss Ratio” standard or the “80/20 rule.” The 80/20 rule in the Affordable Care Act is intended to ensure that consumers get value for their healthcare dollars.
Blue Shield is sending the MLR employer survey to Small and Core Business Groups requesting the following information from groups to help calculate the MLR for 2019, as required by the ACA.
The Medical Loss Ratio reporting and rebate requirements apply to all fully insured group medical plans. They do not apply to self-funded (ASO) business, Shared Advantage, or Medicare Supplemental plans.
To support your clients, please encourage them to submit their information by March 13, 2020, via our online survey at
blueshieldca.com/groupsize or by faxing their completed survey form to (855) 895-3497.
Please see the attached letter for additional information:
SB 1021 extends the sunset date for AB 339 (Healthcare Coverage for Outpatient Prescription Drugs), which included provisions related to pharmacy cost-share maximums and formulary standards.
SB 1021 also includes a provision to limit member cost-share to the contracted retail price if it is lower than the member’s copayment or coinsurance. This means when a member purchases an outpatient prescription drug from a participating pharmacy and the pharmacy’s contracted rate for the prescription drug is less than the member’s copayment or coinsurance, the member pays only the contracted retail price. This cost-share amount is also applied to the member’s deductible and out-of-pocket maximum (OOPM), if applicable.
SB 1021 extends this specific provision until January 1, 2023.
Click here for more information about California Senate Bill (SB) 1021.
The California Gender Recognition Act of 2017 is a new state law that allows Californians to obtain and or change their official state issued identity documents that legally recognize their gender identity as female, male, and nonbinary.
Effective January 1, 2018, the nonbinary option under Senate Bill (SB)179 became available on official state documents. Starting September 1, 2018, Californians could start changing their gender on their birth certificate. And as of January 1, 2019, Californians could start changing their gender identity to nonbinary gender on their driver’s licenses and state ID cards.
• Allows individuals to identify as female, male, or nonbinary.
•A physician’s declaration to petition for a gender change court order is no longer required.
• Individuals 18 years and older need to attest, under penalty or perjury, that changing their legal gender to their gender identity is not for any fraudulent purposes.
•A minor under the age of 18 can obtain new state documents when their legal guardian files a petition to the California state courts.
Blue Shield of California has added a gender identity category to align with the new state law even though health insurance companies are not required to do so. As an organization, Blue Shield recognizes our members whose gender identity is female, male or nonbinary.
Members who would like to update their gender identity in their profile should call the Member Services number on the back of their Blue Shield member ID card to speak with a Customer Care Representative. They will have the option to self-identify as female, male or non-binary.
California Senate Bill (SB)1375 stops Californians from purchasing health plans that offer fewer benefits and protections than those that comply with the Affordable Care Act.
This new state law changes the definition of “eligibility” for small employer health plans and employees and prevents small businesses and self-employed individuals with no employees from enrolling in a group health plan. The law prohibits employer group plans from being issued, marketed, or sold to a sole proprietorship or partnership (and their spouses), without eligible “common law” employees, directly or indirectly through any arrangement including an association.
This means that only individual health plans can be sold to any entity without employees, and individuals must purchase health coverage in the individual market if they wish to obtain health insurance.
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