New Laws for California

The beginning of a new fiscal year often brings with it new laws. Here is a sampling of some notable California laws that went into effect July 1, 2017:

AB 2025-barbering and cosmetology labor law education requirements: This bill requires that the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology make all written materials provided to licensees and applicants available in English, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese and requires the board to provide information on basic labor laws (workers’ rights) to its applicants and licensees. Every applicant for licensure and renewal will be required to include an acknowledgement on the respective application that they understand the material provided by the board. This bill also requires the board to give license applicants and renewing licensees the option to specify a language preference. The board must also include basic labor law coverage in its required health and safety course. In addition, the board’s Health and Safety Advisory Committee is now able to provide advice and recommendations to the board on how to ensure licensees are aware of basic labor laws.

AB 1639-public health and schools: This bill creates the Eric Paredes Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act and requires the California Department of Education to post on its website information including videos and guidelines on sudden cardiac arrest symptoms and warning signs. Students and their parent or guardian in any public school must sign and return an acknowledgment of receipt of an information sheet on sudden cardiac arrest symptoms and warning signs each school year before the student participates in an athletic activity. It also requires the removal of any student who passes out or faints while participating in or immediately following an athletic activity, and would require a coach of an athletic activity to complete a sudden cardiac arrest training course every other school year.

AB 72-medical billing. A possible remedy for the medical billing out-of-network blues: With the recent passage of AB 72, if you’re a Californian with private health insurance that is regulated by the Department of Managed Health Care and the Department of Insurance, and you visit an in-network facility such as a hospital, lab or imaging center, you will only be responsible for your in-network share of the cost even if you’re seen by an out-of-network provider while there. So, your cost should be no more than what would have been owed an in-network provider. This applies to non-emergency services received on or after July 1, 2017. The law offers some protection from surprise bills that can come from anesthesiologists, pathologists, radiologists and other providers that the patient can’t choose. However, the bill would make an exception from this prohibition if the insured provides written consent that satisfies specified criteria; in other words, the law allows out-of-network providers to bill you out-of-network rates, but only if you voluntarily sign a form at least 24 hours before you receive care.

Learn more about bills enacted in 2016 at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pdf/BillsEnactedReport2016.pdf.

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