It was a big debate last summer. While children’s dental coverage is one of the Affordable Care Act’s 10 essential health benefits, the ACA gives states the flexibility to offer the coverage in a stand alone plan. Covered California first required insurers to include children’s dental, then told them to strip out the benefit, in favor of offering stand alone plans at an additional cost.
Now the data is in. Less than one-third of enrolled children on Covered California through 2013 also has dental coverage. Executive director Peter Lee says the additional cost appears to be on issue. “A lot of folks are low income,” he said. “They’re thinking additional coverage versus food on the table.”
On a recent winter morning, health outreach worker Christopher Mack walked through the streets and alleys of the city’s Skid Row, passing a man pulling a rusty shopping cart and a woman asleep on a crumpled blue tarp. The smell of marijuana wafted through the cold air.
“Do you have health insurance?” Mack, a towering man with long dreadlocks, asked one woman. “Do you go to the doctor?” he asked another.
Homeless men and women who didn’t qualify for insurance in the past now have the chance to sign up, and Mack — who was once homeless himself — is there to help.
The most common reason for hospitalization in the United States is childbirth. A new study published Thursday adds to the depth of research on cost variation in the American medical system.
In the study, researchers at U.C. San Francisco looked at 110,000 uncomplicated births across California and found that hospital charges for a vaginal delivery ranged from $3,296 to $37,227 and for a caesarian section the range was $8,312 to $70,908.
As a journalist I’ve covered the Affordable Care Act on and off since it was a gleam in President Obama’s eye. The melodrama of the fierce legislative fight; the subsequent relentless attacks against it; the Supreme Court case; and the catastrophic rollout of healthcare.gov — good times for the news media, though not necessarily the American public.
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 which also reported demographics across age groups, gender and tier of plan chosen.
It’s early days here in the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Friday morning, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Larry Levitt, an expert in health insurance policy, sent out a series of tweets. He said he hoped they were “concise thoughts on enrollment mix and the ACA.” Indeed, the tweets are a quick and insightful read: …
The deadline to pay your premium for a health insurance plan bought through Covered California, the state’s Obamacare marketplace, has been extended to Jan 15. While insurance went into effect Jan. 1 for those who enrolled, you must pay the first month’s premium by Jan. 15 or you you will not be covered. As that …
The governor’s budget is out and for the first time in years, California is expecting a multibillion dollar tax surplus. The governor is proposing a $8 billion in increased spending, with $670 million earmarked to expanded benefits under Medi-Cal. The expanded benefits include mental health, substance use disorder, adult dental, and specialized nutrition services. In his …
A long-awaited and much-feared ten percent rate cut goes into effect today, January 9, for doctors and clinics reimbursed through Medi-Cal – the state’s health coverage for low-income patients. This comes at the same time the federal health overhaul is expanding that program to as many as 2 million Californians.
Those who primarily speak Spanish are largely being left out of the first wave of coverage under Obamacare. Many missed the late December deadline for enrollment in plans beginning Jan. 1. People must sign up by March 31 or face a penalty.
In part, the lag in sign-ups among Spanish speakers reflects a digital − and a cultural − divide. Many are hesitant about handing over personal information to strangers over the Internet, advocates say. This group tends to be less educated, and have lower incomes and less access to technology than fluent English-speakers.