(a)The board shall establish the required subscriber copayment levels for specific benefits consistent with the limitations of Section 2103 of Title XXI of the Social Security Act. The copayment levels established by the board shall, to the extent possible, reflect the copayment levels established for state employees, effective January 1, 1998, through the Public Employees’ Retirement System. Except as otherwise provided in this section, under no circumstances shall copayments exceed the copayment level established for state employees for the most recent plan year preceding the applicable program plan year through the Public Employees’ Retirement System. Total annual copayments charged to subscribers shall not exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250) per family. The board shall instruct participating health plans to work with their provider networks to provide for extended payment plans for subscribers utilizing a significant number of health services for which copayments are charged. The board shall track the number of subscribers who meet the copayment maximum in each year and make adjustments in the amount if a significant number of subscribers reach the copayment maximum.
(b)No deductibles shall be charged to subscribers for health benefits.
(c)Coverage provided to subscribers shall not contain any preexisting condition exclusion requirements.
(d)No participating health, dental, or vision plan shall exclude any subscriber on the basis of any actual or expected health condition or claims experience of that subscriber or a member of that subscriber’s family.
(e)There shall be no variations in rates charged to subscribers including premiums and copayments, on the basis of any actual or expected health condition or claims experience of any subscriber or subscriber’s family member. The only variation in rates charged to subscribers, including copayments and premiums, that shall be permitted is that which is expressly authorized by Section 12693.43.
(f)There shall be no copayments for preventive services as defined in Section 1367.35 of the Health and Safety Code.
(g)There shall be no annual or lifetime benefit maximums in any of the coverage provided under the program.
(h)Plans that receive purchasing credits pursuant to Section 12693.39 shall comply with subdivisions (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g).
(i)(1)Effective October 1, 2011, or the first day of the month following 120 days after the federal approval required by subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (3), whichever occurs later, copayments for emergency room and inpatient hospital services shall be set by the board as follows:
(A)Fifty dollars ($50) for outpatient emergency room services. The copayment shall be waived if the subscriber is hospitalized.
(B)One hundred dollars ($100) for each hospital inpatient day up to a maximum of two hundred dollars ($200) per admission.
(2)The changes made to the copayments in paragraph (1) shall not increase the maximum annual copayment of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) per family described in subdivision (a).
(3)The changes made to the copayments in paragraph (1) shall be implemented only if, and to the extent that, both of the following occur:
(A)The state receives prior federal authorization to implement the copayments in the form of an approved amendment to the state plan under Title XXI of the federal Social Security Act or a waiver of one or more requirements of Title XXI of the federal Social Security Act.
(B)The state receives prior federal authorization for, and implements, copayments in the same amounts for all children enrolled in the Medi-Cal program through an approved amendment to the state plan under Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act or a waiver of one or more requirements of Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act.
(4)Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the state shall not implement the copayments otherwise required by this subdivision at an earlier date than the state implements copayments in the same amounts for all children in the Medi-Cal program.
(5)The adoption and readoption, by the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board, of regulations to implement the changes made to this section by the act that added this subdivision, shall be deemed to be an emergency and necessary to avoid serious harm to the public peace, health, safety, or general welfare for purposes of Sections 11346.1 and 11349.6 of the Government Code, and the board is hereby exempted from the requirement that it describe facts showing the need for immediate action and from review by the Office of Administrative Law.