Starting in the 2015-2016 school year, Assembly Bill (AB) 2706 requires school districts to provide information about health care coverage options and enrollment assistance to the parents and legal guardians of newly enrolled kindergarten and transfer students. The requirements of AB 2706, which added Education Code section 49452.9, apply to the 2015-2016 through 2017-2018 school years.
The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires that individuals and their dependents have minimum essential health care coverage for each month of the calendar year. To this end, AB 2706 requires school districts to add an informational item to their enrollment forms or amend an existing enrollment form to provide the parent or legal guardian of newly enrolled students with information relating to health care coverage. To meet the law's requirements, districts may do any of the following:
- Use the template informational item developed by the California Department of Education (CDE), which must be made available on the CDE's website no later than August 1, 2015; or
- Independently develop an informational item, or amend an existing enrollment form to provide information about health care coverage options and enrollment assistance.
Under the new law, districts may also include a fact sheet in conjunction with either of the chosen options above, or use the CDE created fact sheet (also to appear on the CDE's website no later than August 1, 2015) explaining basic information about PPACA coverage options and enrollment assistance.
Assembly Bill 2706 only requires school districts to provide the parents and guardians of new enrollees with the required information pertaining to health care coverage. However, nothing prohibits districts from providing the information to all its students. Looking to future school years, a school district may include the required informational item and fact sheet as part of its annual notice and/or parent-student handbook. Finally, while the CDE has yet to post on its website the template informational item form or fact sheet described above, the CDE has partnered with All In For Health Care and endorsed the forms created by that organization intended to fulfill AB 2706's requirements.
For more on information on AB 2706 and its implications for your school district, please contact one of our nine offices located statewide. You can also visit our website, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or download our Client News Brief App.