Latest California Healthline Stories
President Donald Trump keeps promising a comprehensive plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. And he keeps not delivering. Meanwhile, members of Congress and White House officials seem unable to agree on a new COVID-19 relief bill. And Missouri becomes the sixth state where voters approved a Medicaid expansion ballot measure. Tami Luhby of CNN, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Kimberly Leonard of Business Insider join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health stories of the week they think you should read, too.
Missouri is the sixth state to use a ballot initiative to extend Medicaid eligibility. Most of the remaining states that have not expanded Medicaid are Republican-leaning states in the South.
Health plans offered through Covered California, the health insurance exchange, will increase premiums by a statewide average of 0.6% next year. Health insurers reported strong profits in the second quarter of 2020 as their expenses plunged because of fewer surgeries and patient visits for non-COVID treatment.
Early in the pandemic, insurers expected the costs of treating COVID-19 would vastly increase medical spending. Instead, non-COVID care has plummeted and insurers have pocketed the result. Still, few industry observers are predicting broad-based premium cuts in 2021, though some health plans have proposed lowering their rates.
Around the country, Medicaid enrollment is up as people who have lost jobs during the pandemic seek health insurance. Expanding eligibility for Missouri’s program, which could help thousands of recently unemployed residents, will be on the ballot Tuesday.
Will Lightbourne, the new director of the California Department of Health Care Services, says government must address the racial disparities laid bare by COVID-19 and improve care for the state’s most vulnerable residents.
For the first time since 2017, Medicaid enrollment has begun increasing again, but not by as much as many analysts expected.
Health plan network changes occur all the time as doctors retire, relocate or leave networks. Unfortunately, patients may be the last to find out about such changes because there are often few requirements that either providers or insurers inform them.
There’s a theory now being embraced by President Donald Trump that the Supreme Court’s recent DACA decision makes it harder for a new president to undo the executive action of a predecessor. He cited it in a recent interview, saying that finding gave him the power to issue new health care and immigration plans. And some legal scholars disagree.
With millions out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic, fewer payroll taxes are coming in to help keep Medicare’s trust fund intact.