Navigating the Health Insurance Marketplace

E. Jones, ACA Implementation Specialist on May 21, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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The “individual mandate” provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. health care reform or “ACA”) began in January 2014, meaning that most U.S. citizens and legal residents need to have health insurance coverage or face a penalty by the end of each tax season. This is just one of many provisions and programs that kicked off in the new year, but will have a significant impact on individuals who do not currently have health coverage. Many people are still confused as to what they will need to do to find coverage, what type of coverage is available, and whether they qualify for federal financial assistance which can help make purchasing insurance more affordable.

Even if you don’t provide coverage as a business owner, you may find yourself in the position of needing to assist your employees with navigating the new health insurance marketplace. If you employ 50 or fewer full time employees, you now have an option to purchase coverage through the new health insurance marketplace, known as “Covered California,” in addition to being able to purchase from health insurance plans directly. Knowing the basics can help you and your employees be prepared and confident in navigating the new health insurance marketplace and selecting the right health plan specific to your needs and budget.

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STEM Education is Key to Our Economic Future

Gary Toebben on May 20, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The next big breakthrough in medicine, the Internet, manufacturing, green energy and construction will all have one thing in common: they will all be discovered or designed by a person educated in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math). America's ability to compete globally will depend on innovations related to STEM and the economic opportunities for the young people in our classrooms today will depend on their education in subjects related to STEM.

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A Voter's Guide for Business on June 3

Gary Toebben on May 13, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The Chamber is an advocate for business growth and jobs for the residents of Los Angeles County. An important part of this advocacy is voting for candidates who share our commitment to creating an environment that will help businesses grow.

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Medi-Cal Expansion: The Road Ahead

Tina Hossain on May 7, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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California is the largest market for health care insurance in the country. When it comes to health care, as California goes, so goes the nation. To maintain our status as a leader in Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation, California needs to maintain the integrity of its health care delivery system and create policies to make quality care more accessible and sustainable. 

Medi-Cal, California's version of the federal Medicaid program, is the main source of health insurance for more than 8 million Californians, primarily those who earn less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level, children, pregnant women, seniors and nonelderly adults with disabilities – all uniquely vulnerable populations. Because Medi-Cal is the single largest source of health insurance coverage in the State - covering one in five Californians - and a major source of funding for safety-net providers, it is critical to understanding how health care is financed and delivered in California. 

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Water Crisis Demands Action

Gary Toebben on May 6, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Water will be a high priority during the Chamber's ACCESS Sacramento trip next week.  The reliable greenery we take for granted in California may be coming to an end without swift action.  

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Toyota's Decision: A Major Loss for California

Gary Toebben on April 29, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Toyota is moving 3,000 high-paying jobs from California to Texas over the next three years. Thousands of L.A. County families will be directly impacted by this job loss and many other support businesses and their employees will also feel the pain. The ripple effect will go on and on, including hundreds of charities and nonprofit organizations that Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. has generously supported.

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California's Small Business Health Options Program

E. Jones, ACA Implementation Specialist on April 23, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in Health Care Waiting Room 
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A major component of health care reform that has rolled out in each state is the health insurance marketplace. Each marketplace is operated by that state’s government, the federal government, or a partnership between the state and federal governments. California’s marketplace, known as Covered California, is a state-run marketplace. It serves both individuals looking for health plan coverage for themselves and their families, as well as qualifying small businesses looking to offer coverage to their employees through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).

With the implementation of SHOP there is now the opportunity to offer choice when it comes to plan selection for employees, along with a more simplified administrative process (single bill for coverage) for employers. Open enrollment for both small businesses and individuals through Covered California began October 1, 2013. Though open enrollment for the individual marketplace recently closed on March 31, 2014, we feel this is an appropriate time to refocus education and enrollment efforts for small businesses, the marketplace for which (SHOP) has no open enrollment deadline.

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This is our Chance

Gary Toebben on April 22, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last Friday, the State Employment Development Department issued its employment numbers for March. The good news is that employment increased once again in California and Los Angeles County. The bad news is that California still has 84,300 fewer jobs than it had at the start of the Great Recession, and L.A. County has 75,200 fewer jobs, almost 90 percent of the State total.  

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Boeing Provides a Spark to the Economy

Gary Toebben on April 15, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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A job is like a fire, providing energy, light, heat and sustenance to the life of the person who holds the flame. It illuminates the vision ahead to see a brighter future of caring for oneself and our families. Last week, the Los Angeles region received the promise of many more lights with The Boeing Co.’s announcement that it would soon be moving 1,000 high paying skilled engineering jobs to our communities.

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Clinton: Yes Sacramento: No

Gary Toebben on April 8, 2014 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Last Thursday morning, former President Bill Clinton was at L.A. City Hall with Mayor Eric Garcetti to discuss strategies to finance economic development and to promote job growth, climate mitigation and resiliency through 21st century infrastructure. Clinton was joined by the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange and spent much of his time touting the opportunity to use public-private partnerships to advance infrastructure projects in Los Angeles and California.  

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