The California Health Benefits Review Program (CHBRP) was established in 2002 at the University of California to implement the provisions of CHBRP's authorizing statute, which is available here.
In addition to the answers to the questions below, a brief flyer "Academic Rigor on a Legislature's Timeline" includes more details about CHBRP.
CHBRP's authorizing statute defines a health insurance benefit mandate as a requirement that a health insurer and/or health care service plan: (1) permit covered individuals to receive health care treatment or services from a particular type of health care provider; (2) offer or provide coverage for the screening, diagnosis, or treatment of a particular disease or condition; or (3) offer or provide coverage of a particular type of health care treatment or service, or of medical equipment, medical supplies, or drugs used in connection with a health care treatment or service. A proposed repeal, if enacted, would repeal an existing mandated requirement.
Posted on the Other Publications page of this website, CHBRP maintains several relevant resources, including a list of health insurance benefit mandates in California State and Federal Law, as well as a review of the Federal Preventative Services Benefit Mandate and California Benefit Mandates.
A small analytic staff at the University of California, Office of the President supports a task force of UC faculty and researchers from a mix of the University's campuses to complete each analysis. Analyses are completed within 60 days of a legislative request. The task force has developed methods for evaluating relevant medical effectiveness, cost impact, and public health impact of bills related to health insurance benefits. A certified actuary is used to help determine the financial impacts and CHBRP has adopted a strict conflict of interest disclosure policy adapted from one used by the National Academies of Science to assure that analyses are undertaken by individuals without any financial or other material interests that could bias the results. A National Advisory Council, made up of experts from outside the state of California provides representation among groups with an interest in health insurance benefit mandates, reviews draft reports to assure quality before reports are transmitted to the Legislature. Each report summarizes scientific evidence relevant to the bill, but makes no recommendations, deferring all policy decisions to the Legislature. The State funds CHBRP's work through a small annual assessment of health plans and insurers in California.