Covered California

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.

COVERED CALIFORNIA PREMIUMS TO JUMP IN 2018

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 2, 2017 (Sacramento) – Covered California premiums are slated to rise 12.5 percent next year, according to the 2018 rate guide.  Actual rates will vary from company to company.

The spike is due partly to rising healthcare costs and partly to threats by the Trump administration’s threat to cancel $7 billion in subsidies for insurance companies. Trump has said he will “let Obamacare fail” but in fact is actively working to make it fail, by injecting uncertainties into the market that force insurers to hike rates to consumers.

NEW LAW MAKES HEALTH INSURERS PROVIDE ACCURATE, UPDATED PROVIDER DIRECTORIES

 

New law allows patients to be reimbursed for out-of-network care due to a mistake in an insurance company’s directory

East County News Service

October 11, 2015 (Sacramento) – Many consumers complained that after signing up for health insurance through Covered California, they learned that the healthcare plans they enrolled in had mistakes such as doctors listed who were no longer in the network.  Covered California discontinued its directory in February.  But a state audit also found many errors in directories by major health insurers including Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net and Partnership Health Plan, such as wrong phone numbers and addresses, plus inaccurate information on which doctors were accepting new patients.

SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS OBAMACARE SUBSIDIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 25, 2015 (Washington D.C.) –The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling to uphold nationwide federal subsidies in all 50 states to help people buy healthcare under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. 

Opponents had argued that the subsidies should be available only to people in states that set up healthcare exchanges .  Currently 8.7 million Americans receive the subsidies, but the vast majority of those – 6.4 million—are in states that did not set up exchanges. Those 6.4 million people would have lost their subsidies if plaintiffs had prevailed in the case, King v. Burrell.

Chief Justice John Roberts voted with liberal justices to support the law.  Writing the majority decision, Roberts concluded, “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not destroy them.”

NEW LAW ALLOWS PATIENTS TO REQUEST CONFIDENTIALITY IN HEALTHCARE COMMUNICATIONS

 

January 7, 2015 (San Diego's East County) -- As the second wave of open enrollment into Covered California is in full swing, individuals covered under their parent or spouse's health plan can start feeling safe enough to actually use their insurance. SB 138 - the Confidential Health Information Act - took effect on January 1st to close loopholes in existing state and federal laws that result in breaches in patient confidentiality through Explanation of Benefits letters and other standard communications from health insurance plans.

CONSUMER WATCHDOG BLASTS NO-BID CONTRACTS BY COVERED CALIFORNIA

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2014 (Sacramento)--Why did Covered California award $184 million in no-bid contracts – including millions to consulting companies with ties to executives on the Covered California board?   For instance, $4.2 million went to the Tori Group, whose founder once worked with Covered California’s executive director, Peter Lee, and other contracts went to a subsidiary of a firm  that Lee once led.

DECEPTIVE ADS SEEK TO DUPE PUBLIC ON PROP 45

 

East County News Service

October 5, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) --The insurance industry is funding a 37 million dollar TV and radio ad campaign attacking Prop 45, a ballot measure that would stop health insurance rates from going up in California unless insurance companies can first convince the State Insurance Commissioner that a rate hike is necessary.

MARCH 31 IS DEADLINE TO SIGN UP FOR HEALTHCARE THROUGH COVERED CALIFORNIA: PENALTIES KICK IN FOR UNINSURED

 

Update: The Obama adminsitration has announced it will extend the deadline for anyone who started applying online before March 31, but was not able to complete an application due to technical difficulties.

By Miriam Raftery

March 23, 2014 (Sacramento) – If you don’t have health insurance, the Affordable Act requires that you purchase it by March 31, or pay stiff fines.  If you’re low income, there are subsidies available to help you afford healthcare for you and your family.

March 31 is also the last day for anyone to sign up for healthcare in 2014 through Covered California (www.coveredca.com) , the new healthcare exchange programs in our state. So far, over 1 million Californians have signed up.

The law requires that you have insurance by March 31, either through Covered California,  private insurance, or another program such as Medicare or  TriCare for veterans.  If you have no health insurance, the penalty will be the greater of the following: 1% of your family income above the tax filing threshold,  or  $285 per family ($95 per adult and $47.50 per child) in 2014. Rates rise steeply over the next two years.

ALPINE LIBRARY TO HOST PROGRAM ON COVERED CALIFORNIA HEALTHCARE CHANGES ON FEB. 20

 

February 1, 2014 (Alpine) – Healthcare in California is changing. Are you ready?

Professionals from Mountain Health will give a presentation about the new Covered California health care marketplace ( California’s approach to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare).  The event will be held Thursday, February 20 at 6 p.m. at the Alpine Library, 2130 Arnold Way in Alpine.

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.

ASSEMBLY REPUBLICANS DIRECT CONSTITUENTS TO PHONY CA HEALTHCARE “RESOURCE” SITE

 

"It's outrageous that our elected officials in California are using taxpayer dollars to intentionally mislead their constituents and divert them from CoveredCA.com ... Republicans in California should be ashamed… the GOP’s newest tactics is to lie to voters and prevent sick people from getting the care they need.”—Dr. Paul Song, oncologist and Courage Campaign executive director

By Nadin Abbott and Miriam Raftery

December 3, 2013 (San Diego)—The California Assembly Republican Caucus, chaired by East County representative Brian Jones (R-Santee), is taking heat for creating a phony website (http://www.coveringhealthcareca.com/) designed to divert consumers from the state’s official Covered California site (https://www.coveredca.com/). 

Covered California is the website for consumers to get information on new healthcare exchanges and sign up for healthcare coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. 

Republican members including Jones are promoting the sham healthcare site, labeled a “California Resource Guide” directly to constituents on their official Assembly websites paid for by taxpayers.