The Week Ahead
The enrollment period for the Medicare drug benefit ends. Beneficiaries who enroll in the benefit after May 15 will face a penalty equal to a 1% increase in drug plan premiums for each month of delayed enrollment. The Bush administration has exempted low-income beneficiaries from the penalty and May 15 deadline.
The Legislature's Senate Appropriations Committee will hold hearings on a number of health care-related bills, including SB 1371, involving Medi-Cal smart cards; SB 1414, involving employer-sponsored health insurance; and SB 1672, involving funding for health information technology.
California's emergency prescription drug coverage will expire for individuals dually eligible for Medi-Cal and Medicare who are having problems obtaining medications under the drug benefit, unless new legislation (AB 813) to extend the benefit is enacted.
Stanislaus County supervisors will hold a hearing on proposed cuts to the Stanislaus County Behavioral Health and Recovery Service Department. The department could face a $4 million budget deficit if services are not reduced in the next fiscal year.
San Mateo County nurses, represented by the California Nurses Association, will begin a two-day strike unless an agreement is reached on retiree health benefits, a new pension plan and wages. The strike would involve 380 nurses at prisons, acute care facilities, mental health offices and other health centers.
The public comment period for Calaveras County's Proposition 63 spending plan ends. State voters in 2004 approved Proposition 63 to increase the state income tax by 1% for residents whose annual incomes exceed $1 million to fund mental health services. The county would use the funds to increase mental health care staff.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.