Medicare is a federally governed health insurance
program. Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, is an
assistance program governed by the State of California and
financed equally by the state and federal governments.
Medicare is the federally funded health insurance program for:
People age 65 and older.
Certain younger people under age 65 with certain
People of all ages with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent
kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant).
There are four parts of Medicare that cover specific services:
Medicare Part A (hospital insurance)
Medicare Part B (medical insurance)
Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans)
Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage)
Your application for Medicare is located at the Social Security
office in your area or is available online here.
Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program, which is financed
equally by the State and federal government. Medi-Cal is a public
health insurance program that provides needed healthcare services
for low-income individuals including:
Families with children
Persons with disabilities
Low-income people with specific diseases such as
tuberculosis, breast cancer or HIV/AIDS.
“Medi-Medi” or “Dual Eligible”
Some people qualify for both Medicare and Medi-Cal. People who
qualify for both programs are called ‘dual eligible’ or
“Medi-Medi.” Medi-Cal is sometimes used to help pay for Medicare
Kaiser Permanente which hyped its mobile device app’s progress
back in January before it had a lot to crow about, has some real
To wit, the Oakland-based health care giant says 94,367 of its
Android apps have been downloaded — up from just 2,100 in late
January. Meanwhile, 74,295 locator apps, used by Kaiser members
to locate their nearest Kaiser hospital or clinic, have found
their way onto mobile phones.
Tobacco companies — including Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds –
are spending tens of millions of dollars to try to defeat
Proposition 29, a June ballot initiative that would increase the
state’s tobacco sales tax by $1 per pack, the San Jose Mercury
The current tobacco tax is 87 cents per pack. The state allocates
50 cents of that amount for First 5 early childhood health and
Tobacco marketing is targeting California’s low-income and
African American youth, according to researchers who examined
advertising throughout the state.
Academic researchers funded by the state’s Tobacco-Related
Disease Research Program found that there was greater visibility
of menthol cigarette advertising at retailers near high schools
where there are larger African American student populations.
Flossing—beyond just clearing out the spinach from those eggs
Florentine lingering between the molars—aids in gum health and
good breath. New research shows flossing may even protect against
diabetes and preterm births.
But there is little literature on flossing’s finer points, says
Denis F. Kinane, professor of pathology and periodontics at the
University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Dental Medicine. “It’s kind of
like grandmother and apple pie. We know flossing is beneficial,
but no one has even studied if it’s better to floss in the
morning or evening.” We asked him to resolve some common
household debates about flossing.
In order to highlight the growing need for concern and awareness
about autism, the Autism Society has been celebrating National
Autism Awareness Month since the 1970s. The United States
recognizes April as a special opportunity for everyone to educate
the public about autism and issues within the autism community.
If the label on one bottle of prescription drugs says, “Take one
tablet twice daily,” and the label on another says, “Take one
tablet every 12 hours,” would you realize that you could take
both medications at the same time?
What if one bottle says, “Take with food and water,” but the
Given that the average adult over age 55 juggles six to eight
medications daily, the ability to consolidate pill-popping is no
minor matter. “I’m more likely to be able to sustain a medication
regimen if I only have to take it three or four times a day,”
said Michael Wolf, an associate professor of medicine at
Northwestern University who studies drug safety. “Seven or eight
times a day is complicated to fit into your daily schedule.”
Holiday gatherings can be a good chance to have a conversation
and gather information about your family’s health history, which
is key to healthcare. The U.S. Surgeon General operates a free
Web site — https://familyhistory.hhs.gov
— that helps people create a family health history and share it
electronically with relatives and their doctor.
Showing your ID is important for your health and
safety. Showing your ID is critical to ensuring that you get
treatment that is meant for you, not for someone else. We have
heard of cases where someone uses a fake ID to get care. This
is dangerous and could result in getting the wrong
medication, tests or treatment. Failing to show your proper ID
jeopardizes your personal/patient safety and could put you at
risk of immeasurable harm, as severe injury or even death may
Most healthcare providers are required by federal law
treat your healthcare information as confidential.
What Information Is Protected
Information your doctors, nurses, and other healthcare
providers put in your medical record
Conversations your doctor has about your care or treatment
with nurses and others
Information about you in your health insurer’s computer
Billing information about you at your clinic
Most other health information about you held by those who
must follow these laws
As anyone who has been a patient or a visitor at a hospital
knows, they’re often confusing, chaotic places. By the time you
learn the routines and the rules, with any luck you’re recovered
and on your way out the door.
Elizabeth Bailey’s father wasn’t that fortunate. When he started
experiencing double vision several years ago at age 81, he had a
biopsy performed on an outpatient basis at a New York hospital to
determine if he had a rare and dangerous inflammation of an
artery near his temple. He didn’t, as it turned out. But things
went downhill from there.
There is a simple reason health care in the United States costs
more than it does anywhere else: The prices are higher.
That may sound obvious. But it is, in fact, key to understanding
one of the most pressing problems facing our economy. In 2009,
Americans spent $7,960 per person on health care. Our neighbors
in Canada spent $4,808. The Germans spent $4,218. The French,
$3,978. If we had the per-person costs of any of those countries,
America’s deficits would vanish. Workers would have much more
money in their pockets. Our economy would grow more quickly, as
our exports would be more competitive.
Moving to implement a much-anticipated consumer protection in the
new healthcare law, the Obama administration issued regulations
Thursday [February 10, 2012] requiring health plans to
describe what they cover in clear, standardized language that is
understandable to consumers.
Starting this fall, insurers and employers that offer health
coverage will have to provide a six-page form that summarizes
basic plan information, such as deductibles and co-pays, as well
as costs for using in-network and out-of-network medical
WASHINGTON — National health spending rose a slight 3.9 percent
in 2010, as Americans delayed hospital care, doctor’s visits and
prescription drug purchases for the second year in a row, the
Obama administration reported Monday.
The recession, which lasted from December 2007 to June 2009,
reined in the growth of health spending as many people lost jobs,
income and health insurance, the government said in a report,
published in the journal Health Affairs.
About two dozen state employment laws will take effect Jan. 1,
according to a list published by the California Chamber of
Some of these laws will prohibit discrimination against employees
on the basis of their gender expression or genetic information,
require more employers to continue health coverage for mothers on
pregnancy disability leave, clarify how long employees can take
off work to donate organs or bone marrow, and prohibit some
employers from doing credit checks on certain types of workers or
Pediatrician Catherine Vigran has fought the devastation of
diabetes and obesity among her young Latino patients in
determined and personal ways.
She has told parents, in painful conversations, that they must
feed their families differently or risk their children’s lives.
Quarterly for the past three years, she has arranged healthy
cooking classes for families in the Rancho Cordova neighborhood
That’s the message health officials from San Diego to Washington
have emphasized on the eve of World AIDS Day, held each Dec. 1
since 1988. This year’s theme is “Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV
infections, Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths.”
A vaccine that protects against the sexually transmitted human
papillomavirus should be routinely given to boys ages 11 and 12
to prevent anal cancer, a government advisory committee has
Though many parents may not wish to contemplate the future sex
lives of their pre-adolescent children, vaccinating them young is
the best way to avoid the risk of the cancer-causing virus,
experts said Tuesday [October 25, 2011].
The recommendation is sure to ignite further debate among the
Republican presidential candidates who have focused intently on
whether the controversial vaccine, called Gardasil, is
appropriate for girls — who receive it for prevention of cervical
cancer — let alone for boys.
Minority and low-income groups continue to be less likely to have
a regular source of health care when compared to the general
population, despite efforts over the past decade to remedy the
situation. This and other health disparities persist across race,
ethnicity, income level and education, according to the final
review of Healthy People 2010, which was released Thursday
[October 6, 2011].
Madison Elementary formed a “walking school bus” to get children
— and their parents — to exercise. Good Stuff Restaurants started
promoting to-go boxes so customers don’t overeat. Crowne Plaza
Hotel on Harbor Drive began opening some meetings with music and