California originally had a 60 day waiting period in order for employees to be eligible to receive health benefits. However, confusion spurred amongst employees because this was not in line with the 90 day waiting period established by the federal government under the Affordable Care Act. In order to better comply with the federal exchange, Governor Jerry Brown signed a piece of legislation stating that California will now move forward with a 90 day waiting period.
What does this mean for employees?
- Employees in California will now have to wait a maximum of 90 days before receiving health benefits compared to the previous 60 day maximum waiting period
- New employees may have to wait longer to get access to employee sponsored healthcare
What does this mean for employers?
- Employers have up to 90 days to provide health benefits to employees
Did California make any other changes?
According to California Healthline, while other federal insurance exchanges gained carriers, Covered California lost a few smaller ones including Ventura County Health Plan, Alameda Alliance, and Contra Costa Health Plan. This leaves California with 10 carriers. However, the big four carriers represent 95% of the participants. While 10 carriers would be enough for some states, 10 is minimal for California. The dilemma involves less choices for participants residing in areas with less access to medical facilities. The fewer carriers, the harder it is for these participants to have access to affordable health care.