Latest California Healthline Stories

Go Beyond The Headlines For Rate Hike Reality

Some Californians got good news last week about the price of their health insurance. But as always, it pays to know the details. Covered California, the state health insurance exchange, announced that its premiums will rise by a weighted average of 4 percent next year. This year’s increase was 4.2 percent. Both were welcome surprises […]

Insured? Watch Out For Out-Of-Pocket Costs

Millions of Americans will continue receiving tax credits to help pay for their health insurance, thanks to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare. But the ruling doesn’t address affordability, and that means millions of Americans also will continue their struggle to pay for health insurance costs. As I said in my previous column, […]

How Affordable Is The Affordable Care Act?

For many Californians, the Affordable Care Act isn’t. You’re not alone if you can’t afford your health insurance obligations, whether you’re struggling to pay your monthly premium or facing thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs. “There are days when I can’t sleep, thinking ‘How am I going to do this?’” says Maria Chavez, a Whittier […]

Don’t Cave In To An Erroneous Bill

I’m filled with dread every time I open my mailbox to find an “Explanation of Benefits” from my health insurer. It’s bad enough when my portion of the tab is what I expected. But I virtually lose it when my bill is more than it should be. A survey last month by Consumers Union found […]

More Californians Face Medi-Cal Death Fee

If you have Medi-Cal, chances are you get your health care for free. Until you die, that is. Since 1993, Medi-Cal – California’s version of the federal Medicaid program for low-income residents – has sought repayment of many medical costs, primarily those incurred after age 55. It’s called the Estate Recovery Program and under Obamacare, […]

Bouncing Between Medi-Cal And Covered California

Many Californians with Covered California or Medi-Cal health coverage hover near the intersection where the two programs meet. When their incomes fluctuate, however, that “hover” can turn into a “bounce.” State officials say the transition between Covered California and Medi-Cal is supposed to be “seamless.” But in reality, moving from one to the other sometimes […]

How To Find Medical Care If You’re Uninsured

About 5 million Californians have new health coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), both through the Covered California health insurance exchange and the expansion of Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program for low-income residents. But millions of others remain uninsured – by circumstance or by choice. Up to half of California’s uninsured population […]

Millions Need To Be Alert For Medi-Cal Renewal

I spend the majority of my time (and space) writing about the new state health insurance exchange, Covered California. But the behemoth in California’s Affordable Care Act implementation is Medi-Cal, the state’s decades-old version of the federal Medicaid program, which provides publicly funded insurance to low-income residents. About 12 million Californians are in Medi-Cal now. […]

Obamacare’s Tax-Time Lessons

The second round of Obamacare open enrollment is over, but your paperwork may not be. It’s tax time. And as I suspected, this is shaping up to be a stressful period for many Californians who remained uninsured or purchased health insurance from Covered California. Q: I had a Covered California plan for eight months last […]

Small Business Exchange Offline And Off Target

California has been hailed as national leader in implementing Obamacare, enrolling about 4 million people into Medi-Cal and Covered California since last year. But when it comes to our health insurance exchange for small businesses – known as SHOP – the Golden State looks tarnished. Businesses can’t enroll in SHOP online. Commissions to insurance agents have […]