Health Care Waiting Room

Covered California August Board Meeting

Marina Acosta, Insure the Uninsured Project on August 31, 2016 at 2:00:00 pm in Health Care Waiting Room 
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After a month-long break, the Covered California Board reconvened for its monthly meeting on Aug. 18, 2016. Covered California provided updates on media coverage and enrollment numbers for Covered California for Small Business (CCSB). Board members approved readoption of the requirements for the certified application counselor program and individual eligibility and enrollment regulations. Covered California provided updates on its application for a Section 1332 federal waiver under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and signaled its intent to adopt the final application at the September board meeting. Finally, the Board discussed draft CCSB eligibility and enrollment regulations with action to be considered at the September meeting.1

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Small Businesses Avoiding Year-End Stress and Delays by Switching Open Enrollment to Summer Time

Covered California on August 3, 2016 at 10:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Scheduling open enrollment for health insurance at the end of the year is akin to driving on the Bay Bridge during rush hour. The journey could be long, slow and more than a little frustrating.

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California ACA Exchange Rates to Jump 13.2 Percent on Average

Caitlin Owens, Morning Consult on July 22, 2016 at 1:00:00 pm in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Obamacare exchange premiums in California will go up an average of 13.2 percent next year, although almost 80 percent of consumers could pay less or see a premium increase of no more than 5 percent if they shop around.

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California Budget: Small Health Gains, Advocates Look to November Ballot For Big-Ticket Items

Pauline Bartlonoe, California Healthline on June 24, 2016 at 10:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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The $122.5 billion state budget approved last week by California lawmakers will fund a variety of health-related efforts, including training of primary care physicians, dental care for school children and medical interpreters for Medi-Cal, the government-funded insurance program for people with low incomes.

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Wondering if you are an applicable large employer?

Covered California on May 11, 2016 at 10:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Health Insurance Rules Changing In 2016 For Businesses Considered Large; Those With 100 or Fewer Employees Could Still See Big Advantages.

When it comes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, many employers have to determine if their business is big enough, where they must offer health insurance to their employees under the law.

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Payments for cost sharing increasing rapidly over time

Gary Claxton, Larry Levitt, Michelle Long - Kaiser Family Foundation on April 13, 2016 at 10:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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Rising cost-sharing for people with health insurance has drawn a good deal of public attention in recent years.  For example, the average deductible for people with employer-provided health coverage rose from $303 to $1,077 between 2006 and 2015.

While we can get a sense of employees’ potential exposure to out-of-pocket costs by looking at trends in deductibles, many employees will never reach their deductibles and other employees may have costs that far exceed their deductibles.  In addition to deductible payments, some employees also have copayments (set dollar amounts for a given service) or coinsurance payments (a percentage of the allowed amount for the service).  To look at what workers and their families actually spend out-of-pocket for services covered by their employer-sponsored plan, we analyzed a sample of health benefit claims from the Truven MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database to calculate the average amounts paid toward deductibles, copayments and coinsurance.

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Trends in Employer-Sponsored Insurance Offer and Coverage Rates, 1999-2014

Michelle Long, Matthew Rae, Gary Claxton, and Anthony Damico | Kaiser Family Foundation on March 30, 2016 at 1:00:00 pm in Health Care Waiting Room 
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The majority of nonelderly people get their health coverage through an employer-based plan. This issue brief uses data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to examine trends in employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) for different types of people and households.1 While ESI remains the leading source of coverage for nonelderly people (those under age 65), the percentage covered by an employer plan has declined over the last fifteen years. A similar pattern exists with firm offer rates; fewer workers were offered health insurance from their employer in 2014 than in 1999. The decrease in offer and coverage rates has not been universal; families with low and modest incomes have been most affected by the decline. While coverage rates have declined over time, the percentage of the nonelderly population covered by ESI is similar between 2013 and 2014.

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Rise Of Latino Political Power In Capitol Could Give New Momentum To Health Care

David Gorn, California Healthline on March 4, 2016 at 10:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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When Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) is sworn in as assembly speaker Monday, it will mark a historic moment in California politics: For the first time, the two top posts in the state legislature will be held by Latinos.

Rendon will join Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) at the top of the Capitol’s political pyramid, a development that could signal much brighter prospects for health care legislation — especially the effort to provide adult immigrants who are living here illegally with coverage under Medi-Cal, the government program for people with low incomes.

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State Legislature Passes New MCO Tax, Rescues Over $1 Billion for Medi-Cal

David Gorn, California Health Line on March 2, 2016 at 10:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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The California legislature Monday approved a new health care tax, capping a months-long quest to safeguard over $1 billion in annual Medi-Cal funding the federal government had threatened to take away.

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Covered California for Small Business boosts coverage for small companies

Covered California for Small Business on February 17, 2016 at 3:30:00 pm in Health Care Waiting Room 
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This is an important year for small businesses looking to gain an edge on the competition by offering group health insurance to its employees through Covered California for Small Business (CCSB) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In 2016, businesses with up to 100 employees can apply for coverage for their workers. That is an increase from 2015, when only businesses with fewer than 50 workers could apply for coverage through the Covered California exchange.

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