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Governor Brown Signs State Budget

Governor Jerry Brown signed the state budget for FY 2014-15 on Friday, appropriating $136.7 billion to Health and Human Services. Most health items were relatively unchanged from the May Revise, with a few exceptions. Here are a few highlights of the budget and changes from previous versions: The Medi-Cal caseload […] more

Covered California June Board Meeting

Yesterday was our favorite day of the month – the Covered California Board meeting (not joking – we’re very nerdy). There was plenty to discuss this month in preparation for the upcoming open enrollment. Here are the highlights. 2015 Plan Year Contra Costa Health Plan will not be participating in […] more

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, 2014 Update

The Commonwealth Fund has recently released its 2014 update comparing the performance of the United States health system to ten other developed countries. The comparative data predates the implementation of most coverage expansion provisions of the Affordable Care Act so the U.S. bottom ranking should improve, one would hope quite […] more

CA Turns Down Medi-Cal Enrollment Funds

On Sunday the State Legislature passed a budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year. We’ll have the details of the final enacted budget once Governor Brown signs it (some line items could be vetoed), but in the meantime we want to focus on a somewhat shocking budget item that was added […] more

CalSIM: More Californians Covered Sooner

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the UC Berkeley Labor Center recently released an updated version of the California Simulation of Insurance Markets (CalSIM) estimates of insurance coverage from 2015 to 2019. Compared to estimates from March 2013, CalSIM version 1.9 predicts that more Californians will enroll in […] more

National Uninsured Rate Drops to 13.4%

A Gallup poll conducted in April and May revealed that the national uninsured rate has decreased significantly from pre-ACA levels, down to 13.4% of Americans, compared to 16.8% to 18% in 2013. This rate is the lowest recorded by Gallup, since the poll originated in 2008. The national telephone poll […] more

Summary of Pregnancy Coverage Trailer Bill

The Governor’s budget proposes offering premium assistance, cost-sharing assistance, and wraparound coverage to pregnant women who enroll in Covered California in lieu of pregnancy-only Medi-Cal. The following is a summary of the trailer bill (Health & Human Services, 602) implementing the provision. The State will establish a program within Covered […] more

Covered California May Board Meeting

A number of important topics were discussed at this month’s Covered California Board meeting, with lively debate. Here are the highlights. General Updates Thousands of people are enrolling via special enrollment per day. Next open enrollment should align with the federal dates (November 15 – February 15) but this is […] more

Cost of Insuring the Undocumented: $700 Million?

The Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing earlier this week on SB 1005, State Senator Ricardo Lara’s “Health for All” bill that would provide full scope Medi-Cal to the undocumented and create a shadow Exchange with premium assistance provided by the State. Estimates of the cost of the bill to […] more

60 Days of Open Enrollment in Covered California for COBRA Subscribers Begins May 15th

Individuals with COBRA coverage have 60 days to switch to Covered California. Open enrollment begins May 15th and ends July 15, 2014. Why might one switch? Some COBRA enrollees are eligible for premium assistance that can reduce their monthly premiums. Some Covered California plans are less costly and offer better […] more