Both houses of the California legislature approved bills Thursday that set new rules for how health plans handle individual customers in California.
Currently, 1.5 million Californians buy their own health insurance. That number is expected to grow to 5 million next year when the federal Affordable Care Act takes effect and requires everyone to get insured.
The measures passed Thursday aim to make it easier for people to purchase individual plans, starting Jan 1, 2014.
They both prohibit companies from rejecting people for pre-existing conditions. Both allow insurers to set premium rates for customers based on age, family size and where they live.
The bills differ on how to standardize ratings based on geographic regions. That part is still “under negotiation.”