SB 30: Domestic Partners Definition Change
SB 30 was signed into law in 2019 and became effective January 1, 2020. It amended Section 297 of the Family Code, eliminating the limitations on who may form domestic partnerships. Prior law had required that the domestic partners be either of the same sex or of the opposite sex and over 62 years of age.
SB 1088, Expanded Coverage for Dependents up to Age 26
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), enacted in 2010, required that health plans offer coverage for dependent children up to their 26th birthday. Because the LACERA group health plan is a retiree-only plan, certain ACA provisions did not apply, including offering coverage for dependent children up to age 26.
In 2010, the California Senate voted to align a California law, SB 1088, with the ACA provisions regarding the dependent coverage age. SB 1088 created a mandate for insurance carriers, prohibiting the limiting age from being less than 26 for adult dependents covered by healthcare service plan contracts and health insurance policies on or after September 23, 2010.
SB 1088 exempted retiree-only plans, such as LACERA's, until July 1, 2014. (Prior to the expiration of LACERA's exemption, existing plan contracts covered dependents up to age 19 or, if the dependent was a full-time student and unmarried, age 23.)
In 2015, the County of Los Angeles determined that a retiree's children would be considered dependents for the purpose of paying the retiree healthcare subsidy, regardless of marital or student status, up to age 26.
AB 205: Retiree Healthcare Benefits for Domestic Partners
AB 205, passed in 2003, gives domestic partners most of the legal rights, protections, and benefits accorded to married persons. It also gives them the same responsibilities, obligations, and legal duties under the law. Domestic partners are eligible for coverage under LACERA's Retiree Healthcare plans.
Domestic Partnership: On July 30, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 30, which eliminates the limitations on who may form domestic partnerships, allowing opposite-sex couples under the age of 62 to be eligible to form domestic partnerships. The new law, which became effective January 1, 2020, states that all couples, regardless of age or sexual orientation, who are eligible to be married may register with the California Secretary of State as domestic partners. For more information, please contact the California Secretary of State, Public Information at (916) 653-6814 or visit their website at www.sos.ca.gov.
AB 88: Mental Health Parity Coverage
This mental health parity law, chaptered in 1999, requires health plans to provide coverage for "severe mental illnesses" and "serious emotional disturbances of a child."
All LACERA-administered healthcare plans adjusted their mental health benefits to comply with the law as of July 1, 2000, which eliminated annual day and visit maximums for the following ten conditions for anyone enrolled in a California health plan:
- Schizoaffective disorder
- Bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness)
- Major depressive disorders
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Pervasive developmental disorder or autism
- Anorexia nervosa
- Bulimia nervosa
- Substance abuse and addiction