Latest California Healthline Stories
The Trump administration issued the final rule on association health plans, which supporters say will make coverage more affordable for some employees but led others to warn about “junk insurance.” Officials in California, aware of the state’s bad experience with such plans, are eager to avert their return.
Cash-strapped school boards, cities and legislatures scrounge to cover pay raises and pricey benefits and turn to teachers to fork over more of their shrinking take-home pay.
Carmela Coyle was known as an innovator when she led Maryland’s hospital association and supported a groundbreaking program that capped hospital revenue. But less than a year into her new job representing California’s hospitals in Sacramento, Coyle has already helped kill a proposal to regulate pricing.
New programs, known as ACOs, reward hospitals and physician groups that hold down costs by keeping enrollees healthy. The health care providers are asked to address social issues — such as homelessness, lack of transportation and poor nutrition — that can cause and exacerbate health problems.
Peter Lee says the court challenge will take time and California will have a chance to pass its own protections in the interim. However, the decision by Congress to eliminate the tax penalty on people who choose not to buy insurance will weigh on 2019 premiums, Lee said. Recent projections by the exchange show an average 11 percent rate hike in 2019, along with a 12 percent drop in enrollment.
Many states instituted the technique known as “silver loading” this year after President Donald Trump cut federal payments to insurers. But some conservatives objected because it meant the cost of premium subsides for the federal government went up.
As part of his plan to tamp down drug pricing, President Donald Trump wants pharmaceutical companies to provide cost information in drug ads — just like side effects.
California Healthline gives readers a chance to comment on a recent batch of stories.
Sometimes a drug plan’s copayment is higher than the cash price, and under a little-known federal rule, pharmacists have to tell Medicare beneficiaries that — but only if they ask.
More health plans are refusing to count the copayment assistance offered by drug makers as part of the patients’ deductibles or out-of-pocket limits.