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Latest California Healthline Stories

Pregnant And Uninsured? You Have Options.

Did you recently have or adopt a baby, get married, or move to California from another state? Perhaps you lost your job – and your health insurance with it. These are some of life’s common events that trigger special health insurance enrollment opportunities, which allow you to buy or switch plans outside of limited open […]

Extracting The Pain From Your Dental Plan

Brushing and flossing are key to your dental health. So is choosing the right dental coverage. While dental insurance doesn’t command the attention that medical insurance does, it also can have significant implications for your pocketbook. You know exactly what I mean if you have the most common type of health insurance (more on that […]

Don’t Accept Drug Prices Lying Down

If you haven’t experienced it yourself, you’ve no doubt heard about the outrageous — and rapidly growing — prices of certain prescription medications. The average price of about one year of cancer-drug therapy has skyrocketed from $10,000 (or less) before 2000 to more than $100,000 by 2012, according to a recent Mayo Clinic study. The […]

How To Price Shop For Medical Treatment

Whether you get your health insurance from your employer, Covered California or the open market, more of you are picking — or being forced into — high-deductible plans. Although these plans come with relatively cheap premiums, you must spend thousands of dollars out of pocket before your coverage kicks in. In theory, you’ll be less […]

Obamacare Tax Already Affecting Worker Health Plans

For the millions of Californians with job-based health coverage, this one’s for you. And it’s a doozy. Starting in 2018, a hefty Obamacare excise tax — known informally as the “Cadillac tax” — will target high-cost health insurance plans offered by employers. Don’t be fooled by the 2018 start date. Some employers are taking steps […]

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, […]