KPCC: Covered California plans changes to make buying insurance easier

Covered California officials on Thursday announced several changes the agency will implement in an effort to make signing up for health insurance easier during the second round of open enrollment, which begins Nov. 15. Peter V. Lee, director of the state-run health insurance marketplace acknowledged during a press conference that the agency had made mistakes during … Continue reading

LA Times: Kaiser cuts Obamacare rates 1.4% for 2015; Anthem hikes rates 4.6%

Kaiser Permanente, among the highest-priced health plans in 2014, is lowering its premiums for next year. Above, Kaiser seeks enrollment last fall in east L.A. (Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times) By CHAD TERHUNE Halthcare giant Kaiser Permanente is lowering its rates for Obamacare coverage in California by 1.4% next year, according to an industry report. California’s … Continue reading

The Sacramento Bee: California health exchange touts 4.2 percent increase in rates for 2015

By Christopher Cadelago California’s health insurance exchange officials announced Thursday that the average premium will increase an average 4.2 percent for the coming year, touting the lower-than-usual figure as evidence that the federal health care overhaul is making coverage affordable for millions of residents. Covered California tentatively chose 10 health insurers to participate in the … Continue reading

California Healthline: Rate of Uninsured Individuals Falling Faster in States That Expanded Medicaid, Urban Institute Finds

The uninsured rate has declined faster among states that have expanded Medicaid than in those that have not, according to the Urban Institute’s most recent Health Reform Monitoring Survey. According to the poll, the uninsured rate between September 2013 and June 2014 among those under age 65 in Medicaid-expansion states fell by five percentage points, … Continue reading

LA Times: Health premiums soared, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones says

“The rate increase from 2013 to 2014, on average, was significantly higher than rate increases in the past,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, shown in 2011. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times) By STUART PFEIFER  The cost of health insurance for individuals skyrocketed this year in California, with some paying almost twice what they did … Continue reading

California Health Report: State Agency Running Medi-Cal Didn’t Know How Many Docs Took its Insurance

July 17, 2014   By Hannah Guzik The California agency that oversees the state’s low-income health plan vastly overstated the number of doctors who accepted patients through the state program last year, even as the number of people enrolled in the program was set to skyrocket under the federal Affordable Care Act, the California Health … Continue reading

California Health Report: Fewer Doctors Enrolled in Low-Income Insurance Program Despite Surge in Patients

By Hannah Guzik Nearly 25 percent fewer physicians were signed up to treat low-income patients in the state’s insurance program this spring compared to a year prior, despite the surge in patients enrolled in Medi-Cal. The drop in providers is due to the Department of Health Care Services’ efforts to remove doctors who haven’t complied … Continue reading

Department of HHS: PREMIUM AFFORDABILITY, COMPETITION, AND CHOICE IN THE HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE, 2014 A central feature of the Affordable Care Act is the establishment of the Health Insurance Marketplace (“Marketplace”) where consumers can purchase health insurance plans in a competitive market. Consumers may be eligible for financial assistance to offset the cost of premiums, if … Continue reading

California Healthline: They Annoy Patients. They Scare Docs. But Narrow Networks Might Be a Good Thing.

by Dan Diamond, California Healthline Contributing Editor Is it better to confuse patients — or lower their bills? Narrow networks seem to be doing both. The model, under which insurers use quality and cost metrics to limit the number of health care providers participating in a given plan, isn’t new. But narrow networks have been in … Continue reading

NY Times: Looking at Costs and Risks, Many Skip Health Insurance

By ABBY GOODNOUGH  LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Steve Huber, an affable salesman who is still paying off an unexpected medical bill, was not among the millions of Americans who signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act during the enrollment period that ended March 31. After seeing television ads for Kentucky’s new online insurance marketplace, Mr. Huber, … Continue reading

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