Insight into the employer’s dilemma of whether to prepare for a law that is being treated as a political football, is found by taking a look at the situation as it stands in California, particularly around state-level mirror legislation and funding.
By now, most employers know that the Affordable Care Act was signed into US law in early 2010. But, are employers aware that six months later, in California, two complementary bills, AB 1602 and SB 900, were signed into law to enact the California Affordable Care Act – health reform at the California state level? In fact, there are about 35 to 40 California state bills that implement the ACA in California and expand on AB 1602.
Shortly after the November 2012 presidential election, at a Covered California Board meeting in Sacramento, Executive Director Peter Lee noted that the outcome of the recent election “removed a distraction” and that Covered California has been moving full steam ahead for over a year and would continue to do so.
Underscoring this statement, an audit released in July 2013 by the California State Auditor found that:
“Covered California has included in its financial plan appropriate measures to ensure ongoing fiscal solvency …”
During 2013’s final days, when the nation’s attention was turned on consumers who were trying and failing to access the troubled federal system at hhs.gov that serves 36 other states, Peter Lee announced: “California is moving forward, and we are not impacted by the federal government’s decision to delay its site.”
Since then, Covered California has nabbed another $155 million in federal funding, giving it nearly $1.1 billion in overall support from the federal government.
Still waiting for Obamacare to be repealed? Even in the unlikely event that it is, are you confident that your employer obligations under California state law would even return to a pre-ACA environment? Healthcare Compliance Inc. isn’t betting on it … and instead recommends that employers get ahead of this fast-moving train and begin the process now of becoming ACA/Covered California-compliant.