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COMPENSATION AND WORKING CONDITIONS
U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
California Enacts Healthcare Law Covering Uninsured Workers
by John Buckley
Originally Posted: November 24, 2003
On October 5, 2003, the Governor of California signed the Health Insurance Act of 2003, which will provide health insurance
to an estimated 1.1 million working Californians currently without coverage. The provisions of the act will be introduced in two
stages:
• Large employers--those with 200 or more employees statewide--are required to provide health insurance to
employees and their dependents beginning January 1, 2006.
• Smaller employers--those with 50 to 199 employees statewide--are required to provide health insurance to employees
and their dependents beginning January 1, 2007.
Employers with fewer than 20 employees are exempt from the act. Employers with 20 to 49 employees are not required to
comply unless a tax credit is enacted and available to those employers.
The act creates the State Health Purchasing Program, which will be administered by the Managed Risk Medical Insurance
Board. The act requires employers to provide specified health benefits either directly or through the program. It also requires
the board to determine the fee employers must pay and states that the associated employee contributions collected by
employers may not exceed 20 percent of the employer fee.
The text of the act can viewed at the California State Senate website at http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/bill/sen/sb_0001-0050/
sb_2_bill_20031006_chaptered.pdf.
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