Ana B. Ibarra

New Covered California Sign-Ups Plummet

Even though the number of people renewing their Covered California health plans increased this year, new enrollment plunged by nearly a quarter compared with last year, posting a bigger drop than the federal health insurance exchange, healthcare.gov, which saw a 16 percent decrease. Officials largely blame the elimination of the federal tax penalty for people without insurance.

Providers Walk ‘Fine Line’ Between Informing And Scaring Immigrant Patients

Some doctors and clinics are proactively informing patients about a proposed policy that could jeopardize the legal status of immigrants who use public benefit programs such as Medicaid. Others argue that because this “public charge” proposal isn’t final — and may never be adopted — disseminating too much information could create unnecessary alarm and cause some patients to drop benefits.

The Year Of The Vape: Teen E-Cigarette Use Spikes

More than a third of high school seniors said they have vaped in the past year — up nearly 10 percentage points from the previous year. The dramatic jump comes despite efforts by public health officials, educators and lawmakers to reverse the e-cigarette trend among youths, including a recent proposal to ban retail sales of flavored tobacco products in California.