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Biocom California Secures Major Victory with Signing of SB 718

  • 2021-10-18T17:45:00.000+0000
  • Author: Jimmy Jackson

This year Biocom California secured one of the most significant policy victories on behalf of our members in its history. On October 8, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 718 into law, which will allow health care trusts serving life science companies which meet a rigorous set of quality standards to continue to offer that product.

Legislation passed in 2018 resulted in a ruling by the California Department of Managed Health care that determined trusts such as the Biocom California Beyond Benefits health trust could no longer offer large employer health rates to companies of less than 100 employees. Biocom California first attempted to resolve this administratively, but when it became clear regulators felt their hands were tied, we went to the legislature to seek a solution for our industry members.

Senator Patricia Bates agreed to author SB 718 this year to allow life science health trusts meeting stringent criteria to continue offering this product because of the highly competitive nature of the ongoing search for talent that occurs in our industry. Despite long odds, Biocom California’s policy team and contract lobbyist, Moira Topp, were able to negotiate with interested stakeholders so that it had no opposition as it went through the entire legislative process, a rare feat in itself.

Senator Bates and her staff worked beyond any reasonable expectation to secure passage of the bill. The Beyond Benefits team at Marsh & McClellan worked tirelessly with Biocom California staff, often on very tight turnarounds, as changes were proposed and negotiated. Despite all this work, we would have had little chance for success without the support of Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, who has most of San Diego’s life science cluster in her district. And, of course, on behalf of all the small companies this bill will help, Biocom California thanks Governor Gavin Newsom for his signature on the bill.

Some regulatory and administrative details are still being worked out, but Biocom California is thrilled life science companies will continue to have access to the high-quality health care our companies have been able to offer to their employees in the past.