Healthcare Reform & Covered California™ News


Working together to educate
Visalia Times Delta

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 interest.


ASK EMILY: Obamacare affects immigrants, too
The Press-Enterprise

California has more immigrants than any other state. At least one in four Californians — more than 10 million people — were born in another country.

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 visas.


Interest in exchange running high, but enrollment a fraction of stated goals
California Healthline

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 exchange.

The student’s guide to affordable health care

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.


Covered California back online after fixing technical glitches
California Healthline

On Wednesday morning, [Oct. 2], Covered California’s online enrollment option was re-launched after being shut down to fix technical issues, AP/U-T San Diego reports (Olson, AP/U-T San Diego, 10/2).


Viewpoints: Are you ready for open enrollment and state’s new health care exchange?
Special to The Sacramento Bee

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 law.


Field Poll shows continued support for health care overhaul in California
The Sacramento Bee

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.


48% of policyholders will get health-law subsidies, report says
Los Angeles Times

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.


Dearth of Doctors: Gap in primary care providers growing as millions of Americans gain coverage under new health care law
U-T San Diego

A shortage of primary care physicians in some parts of the country is expected to worsen next year, as millions of newly insured Americans gain coverage under the new federal health care law.

Doctors could face a backlog, and patients could find it difficult to get quick appointments.


Officials say employer mandate delay will not hinder ACA in Calif.
California Healthline

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).


Survey finds many doctors not discussing ACA with their patients
California Healthline

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).


California’s health care exchanges not harmed by ruling, officials say
The Sacramento Bee

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.


White House delays employer mandate requirement until 2015
Washington Post

The Obama administration will not penalize businesses that do not provide health insurance in 2014, the Treasury Department announced Tuesday.

Instead, it will delay enforcement of a major Affordable Care Act requirement that all employers with more than 50 employees provide coverage to their workers until 2015.


Seniors and the Affordable Care Act

As Californians gear up for the final phase of health-care reform in January, seniors around the state are still wondering what to expect.


Nursing homes with hospital beds face big cuts
San Francisco Chronicle

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.


Being aware of the options in health care reform
Capitol Weekly

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.


Guide offers help enrolling in Covered California
Sacramento Business Journal

A nonprofit patient-advocacy organization based in Sacramento has prepared a guide to help consumers navigate open enrollment through Covered California this fall.


Analysis: ObamaCare will bring flood of retail health clinics
The Hill's Healthcare Blog - Healthwatch

ObamaCare’s flood of newly insured patients will lead to a sharp increase in retail health clinics across the country, according to a new analysis.

Global consulting firm Accenture predicted that the number of walk-in medical 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.


Q&A: Will consumers find bargains on health insurance exchanges?
The Pew

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.


Consumer Tip: Watch out for ‘affordable’ health care scams
Marin Independent Journal


Watch out for insurance SCAMS

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.