Charity Care in L.A.ís Diverse Communities

L.A. Area Chamber on August 27, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Charity Care in L.A.’s Diverse Communities

Despite the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate, there are certain groups of people that will not be able to obtain health insurance and who will (in essence) “fall through the cracks.” This population is composed primarily of those exempt from the individual mandate because insurance options are not affordable, those who opt out of the individual mandate and face resulting penalties and undocumented immigrants and legal residents of less than five years. According to a 2010 report by the Center for Health Care Strategies, the estimated 20 million individuals who are not able to take advantage of ACA will have to depend, to one degree or another, on charity care programs.

 

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There They Go Again

Gary Toebben on August 26, 2014 at 10:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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I wish I could say I was surprised. I wish I could say that this is a new frustration. In reality it is just the same old song we keep hearing from public employee unions. More than a year ago, Gov. Jerry Brown and the legislature showed leadership by making some moderate changes to the State’s pension systems.

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On the Goal Line

Gary Toebben on August 19, 2014 at 9:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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As we enter the start of football season, I always look forward to watching a team march down the field with pinpoint passes and well executed running plays to score the winning touchdown with seconds left on the clock. This scenario acts as an effective metaphor for AB 1839 – The Film and Television Tax Credit program which will grow middle class jobs in California. 

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Taking Advantage of the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

L.A. Area Chamber on August 13, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Since 2010, the government has offered a tax break for certain small businesses that offer qualifying employer-sponsored health plans to assist employers with premium costs and contributions. The health reform law, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not require small businesses to provide health insurance coverage for employees.  However, for those small businesses that have chosen to provide, or are already looking into providing, coverage to employees through Covered California’s Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) in 2014, the tax credit can help ease the overall costs. 

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Potholes or Pensions: A Fundamental Question

Gary Toebben on August 12, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Two weeks ago the headlines in Los Angeles included a Department of Water & Power water line failure in West L.A. and a ruling by the Employee Relations Board to overturn the creation of a new pension tier for future city employees. The juxtaposition of these two stories points out the tug of war taking place in the City of Los Angeles today. With our limited tax dollars, do we prioritize salaries and pensions or maintenance and services?

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California and Mexico are Essential Partners

Gary Toebben on August 5, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Gov. Jerry Brown’s Trade Mission to Mexico last week sent the right message to business leaders in Mexico and California. Mexico is California’s largest export market and businesses know how important it is to take care of your largest customers. Gov. Brown and his 130-member delegation were warmly received by Mexican elected officials and business leaders at every event during the four-day visit.  

 

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The Rising Cost of Specialty Care Drugs and its Impact on Businesses

L.A. Area Chamber on July 30, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Even though the cost of prescription drugs has plummeted for many Americans, a small slice of the population is being asked to shoulder more and more of the cost of expensive treatments for diseases like cancer and hepatitis C. Rare and often more serious diseases requiring specialty drugs can come with breathtaking price tags, according to a report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. On average, the monthly price tag for a specialty drug is $2,000, which is 10 times greater than the price tags for non-specialty medication. The high monthly price tags for these drugs (and the long-term treatment that is required for serious diseases) can put severe financial hardships on affected individuals. 

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Donít Let This Drought Go Down the Drain

Gary Toebben on July 28, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Two weeks ago, State officials approved an emergency regulation imposing $500 fines on water users who violate mandatory conservation measures. With 80 percent of the State now in extreme drought, it's imperative that we all conserve as much water as possible. Visit SoCal WaterSmart to find out what water conservation programs are available for your home and business. 

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They Thought We Were Crazy

Gary Toebben on July 22, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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In 2009 when the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce partnered with the United Way of Greater Los Angeles to end chronic and veteran homelessness in L.A. County, most people either ignored the announcement or thought we were crazy. Los Angeles was the homeless capital of the United States and it would always be that way.  

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2014 and the New World of Health Insurance

E. Jones, MPH, ACA Implementation Specialist on July 16, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Recently, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 1446, allowing small group employers with a health insurance plan that was in effect on Dec. 31, 2013, and still in effect as of the passage of the bill, to renew their current health plan, even if it does not meet certain requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This means that some small group employers now have the option of keeping their current 2013 non-ACA-compliant, non-grandfathered plans for one more year. The extended transitional period will give small employers more time to prepare to bear the costs associated with plans that fully comply with the ACA, and more time to consider their choices while moving into the new world of health insurance.   

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