The California Report: Newly Protected Immigrants Will Be Eligible for Medi-Cal, Advocates Say

By Lisa Aliferis California undocumented immigrants who are eligible for deferred deportation under President Obama’s executive action are expected to be eligible for Medi-Cal, as long as they meet income guidelines, advocates said Thursday. Medi-Cal is the state’s health insurance program for people who are low income. Under federal law, these immigrants are not eligible for … Continue reading

The California Report: Covered California Questions Health Insurance Initiative

 By Lisa Aliferis Ahead of its board meeting Thursday, Covered California officials are raising questions — literally — about a November ballot initiative that some say could destabilize the state’s health insurance marketplace. If approved by voters the Insurance Rate Public Justification and Accountability Act would give California’s insurance commissioner the authority to reject excessive health insurance premium increases. While … Continue reading

The California Report: Obamacare Means New Challenges for California’s Safety Net Providers

By Lisa Morehouse California leads the nation in the number of people getting insurance through the Affordable Care Act. But now that the final deadline has come and gone on Tuesday, millions are still left uninsured. These people will still turn to community clinics and public hospitals for care — they are the safety net … Continue reading

The California Report: Why Some Don’t Pay Their Covered California Premium: It’s Not What You Think

 By Lisa Aliferis A new analysis finds that many people who signed up for a Covered California plan are likely to drop the coverage for a good reason: they found insurance elsewhere. Researchers at the U.C. Berkeley Labor Center released estimates Wednesday showing that about 20 percent of Covered California enrollees are expected to leave the program because … Continue reading

The California Report: California Gets an ‘F’ for Health Care Price Transparency

By Lisa Aliferis California — and 44 other states — received failing grades in a new analysis on transparency of health care prices. The report comes from Berkeley-based Catalyst for Payment Reform (CPR), and it shows that consumers remain pretty much in the dark if they want to figure out, in advance, what a treatment or procedure will … Continue reading

The California Report: California Exceeds Its Target for Enrollment in Obamacare Plans

By April Dembosky With six weeks left to go in the first open enrollment period in Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace, California has already exceeded its goal for the number of people it hoped to enroll into health care plans. As of February 15th, 828,638 people have signed up. The original goal had been 500,000-700,000 … Continue reading

The California Report: Pharmacies Braced for Cuts to Their Medi-Cal Payments

By April Dembosky Pharmacies across the state are bracing for a blow to their revenues. Starting Friday, Medi-Cal –the state’s health coverage for low-income patients — will start paying 10 percent less for filling certain prescriptions. Though the number of drugs affected is less than originally outlined, pharmacists are still worried. Many of them say there … Continue reading

The California Report: Nearly 500,000 Californians Enrolled in Obamacare Plans, Federal Data Show

By Lisa Aliferis Screen shot from, the website of Covered California. Federal officials reported Monday that 2.2 million people nationwide have selected a plan in the new health insurance marketplaces established under the Affordable Care Act. Nearly 500,000 of them are Californians. The numbers were released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, … Continue reading

The California Report: Midwifery, Physical Therapy, Pharmacist Bills Move to Governor’s Desk

By Lisa Aliferis (Getty Images) California’s legislators introduced a suite of bills during the legislative session that ended Thursday with an eye toward helping to expand access to primary care. These “scope-of-practice” bills have sometimes been the subject of hot debate in Sacramento, but three of them survived and have moved to Gov. Brown’s desk. Here’s a … Continue reading

The California Report: Obamacare to Force Millions to Upgrade Insurance

Darren Hall will have to choose a new health insurance plan after Obamacare is fully implemented in January. His policy today doesn’t meet the standards outlined in the law. (Kelley Weiss/ CHCF Center for Health Reporting) By Kelley Weiss, CHCF Center for Health Reporting Despite promises by President Obama that people can keep the insurance they … Continue reading

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