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Zbur Bill to Enhance Consumer Protections for Preventive Care Advances to Senate

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, CA — Assembly Democratic Caucus Chair Rick Chavez Zbur (D-Hollywood) has announced that the California State Assembly passed the Enhanced Consumer Protections for Preventive Care bill by a wide margin and on a bipartisan basis. It now advances to the California State Senate. AB 2258, sponsored by California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, Equality California, APLA Health, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, would codify federal guidance requiring health plans and health insurers to cover services that are integral to the delivery of recommended preventive services without out-of-pocket costs.

"Protecting access to affordable and preventive care is critical to identifying and addressing health challenges before they become serious, especially for marginalized populations," said Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur. "AB 2258 would require health plans and health insurance to cover services that are integral to the delivery of recommended preventive service without out-of-pocket costs, including reversible contraceptives, PrEP, and HIV and STI screenings. This is about ensuring that low-income people have access to the same comprehensive and affordable health care as everyone else."

Every Californian deserves access to preventive health care. A recent study found that as little as $10 in cost sharing for HIV prevention medication (PrEP) doubled the rate at which patients abandon their prescriptions, leading to a higher incidence of HIV infection in those patients. Federal guidance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health insurers and health plans to cover both recommended preventive care and health care that is integral to providing recommended preventive care (“integral services”) without out-of-pocket costs. AB 2258 would codify this federal guidance into California law. These services include, but are not limited to; anesthesia and polyp removal during a colonoscopy; placement, management, and removal of long-acting reversible contraceptives; and ancillary and support services for PrEP, including HIV and other STI screening.

"Making preventive health care affordable for all is critical to our efforts to prevent diseases and complications that can cost much more," said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, who is California’s first LGBTQ+ statewide elected leader. "AB 2258 would help close health gaps for vulnerable groups including women, seniors, and our LGBTQ+ community by removing the barrier of cost-sharing for life-saving drugs and recommended preventive care.

"The need for this bill could not be more urgent," said Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang. "Just last year, a federal judge in Texas struck down key provisions of the Affordable Care Act requiring health plans to cover preventive health care services at no cost to the consumer. These services include critical health interventions such as screenings for lung and colorectal cancer, statins to prevent cardiovascular disease, and PrEP for HIV prevention. While the case is currently on appeal, AB 2258 will strengthen existing law to ensure that regardless of the outcome, LGBTQ+ and ALL Californians continue to have access to the preventive health care services they need to stay healthy."

"After four decades of HIV/AIDS, it is imperative that we do all we can to remove barriers to prevention," said Craig E. Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of APLA Health. "PrEP, whether in pill or injection form, is still the most effective tool we have in ending the HIV epidemic in our lifetime. We applaud the California state legislature for pushing this critical bill forward to protect the lives and health of all residents."

"In a world where health and wellness are paramount, the importance of prevention cannot be overstated. We are thrilled to see AB2258 advance to the Senate as HIV and STIs continue to pose significant public health challenges here in California. Our golden state must act now to protect its residents and improve access to preventive health care full stop. No one should have to choose between a meal or a lab test," said Robert Gamboa, Policy Advocacy Manager at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

"We thank the California State Assembly for prioritizing the health of all Californians by passing AB 2258," said Tyler TerMeer, PhD, CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. "In order for California to make progress on getting to zero new HIV infections, it is critical that all barriers to HIV screenings and prevention services such as PrEP are addressed and eliminated. If passed into law, AB 2258 would go a long way to ensuring better access to these and other necessary preventative health services."

AB 2258 now moves to the California State Senate, where it will be heard in the coming weeks.

Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur serves as the Democratic Caucus Chair for the California State Assembly and represents the 51st Assembly District, which includes Universal City, Hollywood, Hancock Park, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Westwood, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and other portions of Los Angeles.

CONTACT: Vienna Montague, (916) 319-2051,