Legislative Report…Daniel Nnorth and Claudia Schott

Just a quick recap of the legislation that has passed this last quarter in the California Legislature:

SB1234 – The retirement savings plans bill – Approved by the Governor on September 29, 2016.

SB833 – Medical Estate Recovery bill – Signed into law by Governor Brown on June 30, 2016. It takes effect. It will reduce claims by California Medi-Cal Estate Recovery to what is minimally required by federal law.

AB 908 – Disability Compensation: Family Disability Insurance – The Governor signed it into law on April 11, 2016. This increases the maximum benefits for families who are taking care of a loved one.

SB 908 – Health care coverage: premium rate change: notice: other health coverage – Filed with Secretary of State September 23, 2016 and has become law. This one makes health insurance increases for small groups and individuals to be announced at least 120 days prior to them taking effect.

SB 939 – Continuing Care Contracts: Cancellation/Payments – Approved by the Governor on July 25, 2016. It prohibits Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) from, among other things, charging monthly fees after a unit has been fully vacated.

SB 1135 – Health care coverage: notice of timely access to care – Filed with Secretary of State September 23, 2016 and became law. This law requires health plans and insurers to notify consumers and health care providers about patients’ rights to timely access to care and language assistance.

SB 1384 – California Partnership for Long Term Care Program – Filed with Secretary of State September 22, 2016 and has become law. This law will require long term care policies to be more specific in what they cover and what they offer. More regulations to keep the guesswork out of insurance.

AB 2406 – Junior Accessory-Dwelling Units – The Governor signed this into law on September 28, 2016. It will require that reasonable fees and uniform standards are used for Junior Accessory Dwellings. This should help with the affordable housing shortage and will provide standards for said dwelling.

SB 1069 – Accessory Dwelling Unites – Approved by Governor September 27, 2016. It eases restrictions on homeowners who wish to add a “Granny Unit” to their property. This law goes hand in hand with the prior one in helping ease the housing shortage.

AB 1687 – Customer Records: Age Information – Governor Brown signed it into law September 25, 2016. This law requires that actors’ and other people’s ages not be made public in order to curb age discrimination. It will go into effect January 1, 2017.

SB 1150 – Homeowner Survivor Bill of Rights – Filed with Secretary of State September 29, 2016. This law clarifies the responsibilities of the lender when the mortgage holder dies and the spouse wishes to take over the loan. It also helps with foreclosure avoidance programs.

AB 1580 – Credit Freezes – Filed with Secretary of State September 23, 2016 and made into law. This requires consumer reporting agencies to freeze a person’s credit for the security of a protected individual for whom a guardian or conservator has been appointed, when that request has been made by their representative. It also states that the agency must provide written confirmation within 10 business days of the freeze.

Here is a statement by AARP regarding Medicare and Social Security: “We’ve been hearing from many of you about Medicare and Social Security — and we are listening. Rest assured we will do everything we can to protect your hard-earned benefits. For nearly 60 years, AARP has been fighting to ensure Americans get the benefits they’ve earned. In 2005 we successfully beat back Social Security privatization. In 2012 and 2013 we mobilized our members to fight against budget deals that would have cut your Medicare and Social Security benefits. We need to strengthen these programs, not cut them. Once the new President and Congress are sworn in, we will judge any future legislation based on our principles. And we’ll keep fighting with the full power of our nearly 38 million members to protect your Medicare and Social Security benefits.”

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and we wish you happy holidays and a great new year! See you in 2017!