health insurance

COVERED CALIFORNIA OPENS SPECIAL ENROLLMENT FOR THOUSANDS OF CALIFORNIANS WHOSE FEDERAL COBRA SUBSIDIES EXPIRE SEPT. 30

East County News Service

September 9, 2021 (Sacramento) -- Covered California announced a special-enrollment period for an estimated 138,000 Californians who will soon be losing federal financial help to keep their medical benefits under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, better known as COBRA, which expire September 30.  People who sign up by Sept. 30 with Covered California can potentially save hundreds of dollars a month on health insurance, with coverage starting October 1 – and many will be able to stay with the same brand-name insurance company that they currently have.

HE BOUGHT HEALTH INSURANCE FOR EMERGENCIES, THEN HE FELL INTO A $33,601 TRAP

Since the Trump administration deregulated the health insurance industry, there’s been an explosion of short-term plans that leave patients with surprise bills and providers with huge revenue.

By Jenny Deam, ProPublica

This story was originally published by ProPublica.

Image via Pixabay

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May 9, 2021 (San Diego) - In the spring of 2019, Cory Dowd suddenly found himself without health insurance for the first time. A self-employed event planner, he had just finished a Peace Corps stint that provided health benefits, but he was still more than a year away from starting a graduate program that would provide coverage through his university.

ATTORNEY GENERAL BONTA ISSUES CONSUMER ALERT WARNING CALIFORNIANS ABOUT MISLEADING CLAIMS MADE BY HEALTHCARE SHARING MINISTRY PLANS

Source:  Office of the California Attorney General

Photo via Greenwaterbottle1 on Wikipedia

April 30, 2021 (Sacramento) - California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued a consumer alert warning Californians about sham health insurance plans offered by some healthcare sharing ministries (HSMs). These HSMs use misinformation to mislead consumers into enrolling under the guise of offering an affordable alternative to health insurance from the Covered California marketplace. However, unlike Covered California plans, healthcare sharing ministries are not obligated to cover preexisting conditions or guarantee coverage for medical costs or services. As a result, consumers have filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Office alleging that their healthcare sharing ministry plans have refused to cover treatments and pay their medical bills.

BIDEN BOOSTS COVID VACCINE PRODUCTION, WILL REOPEN ACA ENROLLMENT

By Miriam Raftery

January 27, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – President Joe Biden’s national strategy to combat COVID-19, includes orders to purchase 200 million more vaccine doses from Pfizer and Moderna, boosting supply to 600 million. He also announced ramped up distribution of vaccines by next week to states and tribal governments.

This week he also plans to sign an executive order to reopen open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act health insurance policies, since so many out of work Americans have lost healthcare during the pandemic. Biden also plans to make it easier for low-income people to join Medicaid by rolling back certain restrictions imposed by the Trump administration, CNN reports.

In addition, Biden has ordered increased production of the vaccines  with the expectation that all of the 368 million Americans who want to be vaccinated will have vaccines available this spring, a pace dramatically accelerated over the prior administration both in numbers of vaccines available and pace of distribution.

NEED HEALTH INSURANCE? COVERED CALIFORNIA EXTENDS DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR COVERAGE TO JUNE 30

 

East County News Service

March 27, 2020 (Sacramento) – If you lack health insurance or lost it due to the COVID-19 crisis, Covered California has extended the enrollment deadline to June 30th.  If you already have a Covered California plan, you may be eligible for a reduction in premiums if your income has gone down substantially, such as due to a business shut-down or job loss To apply or learn more visit www.CoveredCA.com or call 1-800-300-1506.

From now until June 30, anyone who meets Covered California’s eligibility requirements can enroll in health care coverage, similar to the rules in place during the annual open-enrollment period.  There are also recently added changes so that some who would not have applied for subsidies in the past can now qualify.

DEADLINE SUNDAY TO GET COVERED CA INSURANCE BY JAN. 1: ALL RESIDENTS MUST HAVE COVERAGE OR PAY A PENALTY

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

December 12, 2019 (Sacramento) - This Sunday is the deadline for people to sign up for Covered California health insurance and have the coverage begin on Jan. 1.

Starting in 2020, the state will require everyone to get coverage or pay a penalty.

TRUMP ASKS COURT TO TAKE AWAY PROTECTIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITIONS, BREAKS CAMPAIGN PROMISES

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 9, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – The Trump administration is asking a court to strike down a provision in the Affordable Care Act which requires insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions, the Los Angeles Times reports.

CALIFORNIA MAY BUCK CONGRESS WITH ITS OWN HEALTH INSURANCE REQUIREMENT

 

By Elizabeth Aguilera, CALmatters

Photo:  A hospital emergency room entrance. Photo by M.O. Stevens via Wikimedia Commons

January 20, 2018 (Sacramento) - With Congress ending the requirement that all Americans have health insurance, California leaders are preparing to counter that move by securing health care for as many residents as possible in a fortified state insurance exchange.

CA INSURANCE COMMISSIONER CONDEMNS TRUMP ACTIONS DESTABILIZING HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETS

 

East County News Service

April 14, 2017 (Sacramento) -- In an interview this week with the Wall Street Journal this week, President Trump suggested he would hold hostage the cost-sharing subsidies that make it possible for low-income Americans to afford to seek medical care when they need it.

ISSA INTRODUCES REPLACEMENT PLAN FOR OBAMACARE: BUT IS IT A FIX, OR JUST A BANDAID APPROACH?

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 22, 2017 (San Diego) — San Diego Republican Congressman Darrell Issa on Tuesday announced that he has released a “discussion draft” of his bill to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a new plan.  Issa’s “The Access to Insurance for All Americans Act” would give all Americans access to buy in to same insurance plans provided to federal employees and their families—but not at the heavily discounted rates provided to federal workers.

COURT BLOCKS AETNA-HUMANA MERGER: FINDS AETNA MISLED PUBLIC AND REGULATORS ON WHY IT WITHDREW FROM HEALTHCARE EXCHANGES

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

January 27, 2017 (Washington D.C.) -- In a victory for consumers, the U.S. Court for the District of Columbia has issued an injunction blocking the proposed merger of insurance giants Aetna, Inc. and Humana, Inc. 

HEALTH FAIR SATURDAY IS EAST COUNTY'S LARGEST FREE HEALTH FAIR

 

 

September 23, 2015 (La Mesa)--The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce will present “Health Fair Saturday,” the East County region’s largest annual free community-wide health fair, from noon to 4 p.m.Saturday, Sept. 26, at Grossmont Center, 5500 Grossmont Center Dr., La Mesa, near the movie theaters at the mall.

SURGE IN LAST-MINUTE ENROLLMENTS FOR OBAMACARE

 

Could Obamacare provide impetus for a county hospital in East County?

By Miriam Raftery

December 29, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – Consumers signing up for  new healthcare options or “Obamacare” through Healthcare.gov rose seven-fold in December, when over 975,000 people enrolled.  From October 1 through December 24, a total of 1.1 million people signed up for the new health insurance marketplaces nationwide.  Over a million more signed up through state websites, bringing the total to two-thirds of the 3 million goal set by the White House.

Marilyn Tavenner, administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, called this a “welcome surge in enrollment as millions of Americans seek access to affordable heatlh care coverage,” adding hat the surge came in part because “we met our marks on improving HealthCare.gov.” She added that the site supported 83,000 concurrent users on December 23rd alone before the deadline to sign up for coverage starting January 1.

REPORT: MORE CALIFORNIA CHILDREN HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE

 

December 11, 2013 (San Diego’s East County-) -- More California children are getting the health care coverage they need. According to a report from Georgetown University's Center for Children and Families, more than 100,000 California kids gained health insurance between 2010 and 2012, which puts the state's uninsured rate among children at about 8 percent.

Despite high poverty rates and a weak economic recovery, said the Georgetown Center's executive director, Joan Alker, children's access to health coverage is improving through federal and state programs.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

STUDY FINDS YOUNG CANCER SURVIVORS OFTEN FORGO MEDICAL CARE DUE TO COSTS

September 24, 2012 (San Diego)—Many survivors of adolescent and young adult cancers avoid routine medical care because it’s too expensive, despite the fact that most have health insurance, an article published today in CANCER, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Cancer Society, reveals. That is the conclusion of a new study published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. The results indicate that expanding insurance coverage for young cancer survivors may be insufficient to safeguard their long-term health without efforts to reduce their medical cost burdens.

BILL TO LIMIT HEALTH INSURANCE RATE HIKES QUALIFIES FOR 2014 BALLOT



September 6, 2012 (Sacramento) – Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced this week that the Health Insurance Rate Justification and Accountability Act has enough valid signatures to qualify for the November 2014 ballot. The measure will give the California Insurance Commissioner the power to review and reject excessive health insurance rate hikes.

READER'S EDITORIAL: TAKE ACTION TO STOP INSURANCE RATE HIKES

 By Dave Jones, California Insurance Commissioner

July 2, 2012 (Sacramento) -- The Supreme Court decision regarding the Affordable Care Act was good news for Californians. It means that Californians with health insurance will continue to enjoy the its  benefits. Now we can move forward with reforms to provide health insurance to those without it. 
 
There continues to be a major missing reform in the Affordable Care Act, however. There is still no authority to reject excessive health insurance and HMO rate hikes. And without this reform, rates for individuals, families, and businesses will keep climbing.

 

CALIFORNIA SENATE APPROVES INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE MARKET REFORM BILL

 
June 2, 2012 (Sacramento) Wednesday the Senate approved Senate Bill 961, authored by Senator Ed Hernandez, O.D. (D – West Covina), to make many of the protections established under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) part of California law. SB 961 requires every health plan, by January 1, 2014, to include guaranteed availability and renewability of health insurance coverage and protects Californians from being denied or losing health coverage because of a preexisting health condition. SB 961 also requires insurers and health plans to base premiums solely on age, geography, and family size.

STATE SENATE PASSES LANDMARK BILL TO PROVIDE HEALTH INSURANCE TO LOW-INCOME RESIDENTS---AT ZERO NEW COST TO CALIFORNIA TAXPAYERS

 

4 local legislators take massive donations from insurance industry--and vote against bill

 

June 3, 2011 (Sacramento) – Today the California State Senate voted 25-14 to pass SB 703, which would establish a low-cost health insurance plan to cover an estimated 720,000 people for premiums as low as $30 a month. If passed by the Assembly and signed by the Governor, the measure would provide coverage for more than 723,000 uninsured people who earn between 133% and 200% of the federal poverty level.

CA ASSEMBLY PASSES BILL TO MAKE HEALTH INSURERS GET STATE APPROVAL BEFORE HIKING RATES; REPUBLICANS WALK OUT IN PROTEST

 

Updated June 3, 2011

June 2, 2011 (Sacramento) – Car insurance and homeowner insurance companies have long been required to get state approval before raising rates. But not health insurers. Some have hiked up rates multiple times a year; Blue Cross sought to jack up rates 59% with three increases in six months.

Gouging consumers with unjustifiable rate hikes will no longer be allowed if AB 52 becomes law. The bill would require health insurers to provide justification and get permission from state regulators before imposing increased costs for health care premiums, copayments, or deductibles on consumers.

NEW WEBSITE WWW.HEALTHCARE.GOV LETS CONSUMERS COMPARE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COVERAGE OPTIONS

 

July 6, 2010 (Washington D.C.) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on July 1st unveiled an innovative new on-line tool aimed at helping consumers take control of their health care by connecting them to new information and resources to access quality, affordable health care coverage.

 

CAN'T GET INSURANCE? NEW PRE-EXISTING CONDITION INSURANCE PLAN ANNOUNCED BY HHS SECRETARY SEBELIUS


Affordable Care Act Program provides temporary coverage for Americans without insurance due to pre-existing conditions through 2014 when new insurance exchanges are established; Californians may apply starting in August

BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU SPEAKER WARNS SENIORS OF MEDICAL SCAMS

 

 

By Bill Pogue

May 2, 2010 (La Mesa) -- Mike Justo, representing the Better Business Bureau, led a discussion at the William C Herrick Medical Library in La Mesa last week on medical and health scams and frauds. The event was cosponsored by the library and Grossmont/Sharp Hospital.

The recently passed national health legislation has already prompted fraudulent vending of health policies to “cover the holes,” the BBB warns. Consumers are advised to view any door-to-door health salespersons with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Justo enumerated several other common scams in our community.

EDITORIAL: SMALL BUSINESSES NEED HEALTH REFORM NOW


Many politicians and pundits claim that efforts to reform our health system are moving too quickly. Yet for millions of small business owners like me, health reform cannot happen soon enough.

 

By Vince Mudd

 

For 15 years, I have not only provided access to health insurance for my 45 employees and their family members, but also paid 100 percent of their premiums. I do this because I believe that when employees do not have to spend time dealing with the “problem” of health insurance they are more productive in the workplace. My employees live healthier lives. This benefits them, their families, and ultimately my business and society.

 

Despite these mutual gains, providing health insurance to my employees is simply unsustainable. Last year my small business premiums skyrocketed 18 percent. I wish this were surprising. But the truth is my premiums have risen significantly every one of the 15 years I have been buying coverage for my workers. Unfortunately, my health-care-related stress does not end there. Every year I pay tens of thousands of dollars in medical riders on other business-related policies like liability and property insurance, adding further to my health care costs. I want to focus on my business, not health care. The status quo makes this impossible.