Frequently Asked Questions

What is the California Health Benefits Review Program?

CHBRP's Authorizing Statute

The California Health Benefits Review Program (CHBRP) responds to requests from the State Legislature to provide independent analyses of the medical, financial, and public health impacts of proposed health insurance benefit mandates and proposed repeals of health insurance benefit mandates. CHBRP was established in 2002 by the University of California to implement the provisions of its authorizing statute.

What is a health insurance benefit mandate or benefit mandate repeal?

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.

How do I find out what health insurance benefit mandates are in current law?

CHBRP maintains a list of benefit mandates current in California law along with the code citations.

How does CHBRP do its work?

A small analytic staff in the University of California's Office of the President supports a task force of faculty from six of the University's campuses (Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco) and three private universities (Loma Linda University, the University of Southern California, and Stanford University) to complete each analysis. As required by statute, analyses are completed within 60 days of a legislative request. The task force has developed methods for evaluating relevant medical effectivenesscost impact, and public health impact of a health insurance benefit proposal. As required by CHBRP's authorizing statute, a certified actuary is used to help determine the financial impacts; CHBRP has contracted with Milliman to fulfill this role. CHBRP has also adopted a strict conflict of interest disclosure policy adapted from one used by the National Academies of Science to assure, as required by CHBRP's authorizing statute, that the 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 to provide representation among groups with an interest in health insurance benefit mandates, reviews draft reports to assure their quality before they are transmitted to the Legislature. Each report summarizes scientific evidence relevant to the proposed mandate or proposed mandate repeal, but does not make recommendations, deferring policy decision-making to the Legislature. The State funds this work through a small annual assessment of health plans and insurers in California. Announcements of new requests from the Legislature, completed CHBRP analyses, and instructions for submitting information are available at www.chbrp.org.

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