Kyle Harvey addresses a critical reality about the new healthcare
law in California, “Slow going,” published Dec. 9. While data
demonstrates strong consumer interest in health plans through
Covered California, the enrollment numbers do not yet match that
California has more immigrants than any other state. At least one
in four Californians — more than 10 million people — were born in
And they’re a diverse bunch: Some immigrants, like my parents,
are naturalized U.S. citizens. Others are green card holders.
Some live here illegally. In addition, there are many thousands
of people who have temporary status here on work or student
Covered California officials yesterday released enrollment
numbers for the first month, which indicate high interest in the
exchange but a low number of actual enrollees at the start of the
first open enrollment period.
Yesterday’s enrollment numbers for the month of October,
according to the exchange:
30,830 Californians enrolled in the exchange;
2.5 million unique visits;
About 250,000 calls were handled in the exchange’s three call
centers, with an average call length of about 15 minutes; and
85,960 Californians ruled eligible for coverage through the
College students in America face particular challenges in paying
for health insurance, and consequently are more likely to be
uninsured than any other segment of the population. Experts
estimate that between 10% and 20% of the uninsured are college
students aged 18 to 24. This substantial chunk of the citizenry
is taking enormous risk; students who experience illness or
injury can rack up enormous debt before they ever earn a salary,
and uninsured students don’t receive preventive care that can
discover and treat many illnesses in their early stages.
The new health care reform law is both exciting and confusing.
Beginning Oct. 1, millions of Californians will have the
opportunity to shop for health insurance through the state’s new
health care exchange or online marketplace. Yet, a recent poll by
the California Wellness Foundation shows that only 15 percent of
Californians feel “very knowledgeable” about the new health care
A majority of California voters remain unflinching in their
support of the federal health care overhaul, though nearly half
of the electorate predicts it won’t affect them much, according
to a new Field Poll.
Amid a hot debate over health insurance costs next year, a new
report estimates that nearly half of people who purchase
individual policies now will qualify for premium subsidies as
part of the healthcare overhaul.
The Obama administration’s decision to delay for one year a
requirement that large companies provide health insurance
coverage to workers will not hinder California’s implementation
of the Affordable Care Act, state officials said Tuesday, the
Sacramento Bee reports (Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 7/3).
Half of surveyed patients who regularly see their physician have
not heard them discuss the Affordable Care Act, according to a
survey released Tuesday by HealthPocket, The Hill’s “Healthwatch”
reports (Viebeck, “Healthwatch,” The Hill, 7/2).
The Obama administration’s decision not to penalize large firms
for failing to provide health insurance to workers next year will
not harm California’s implementation of the health care overhaul,
officials said Tuesday.
Looming Medi-Cal cuts threaten doctors, pharmacists, hospitals
and clinics, but operators of nursing homes attached to hospitals
– including two of the state’s largest in San Francisco – say
they bear the biggest brunt of reductions to the state’s public
health program for the poor.
With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare,
California’s healthcare system is undergoing some of the biggest
changes since Medicare was introduced in 1964. While this is
an exciting development that promises to improve the overall
quality of health for all Californians, it is sure to bring some
challenges for people as they begin to purchase new types of
health insurance coverage in new marketplaces.
Global consulting firm Accenture predicted that the number of
facilities located in retail stores will rise to nearly 3,000
by 2015. The clinics are expected to account for 10 percent of
non-primary care outpatient visits within three years.
Consumers want to know: Will health insurance cost more, less, or
about the same on the new health insurance exchanges?
Politicians, for their own reasons, have the same question about
the impact of the Affordable Care Act on insurance in 2014.
You receive a phone message that, because of the recent Supreme
Court decision to uphold the Affordable Health Care Act, you have
an opportunity to get health care at substantially discounted
rates. You call the 800-number, and the salesperson offers
“superior” health insurance at “group” rates with savings of 50
percent or more.
However, be aware of several scams that boast a special affinity
to this federal act.