Covered California (the Exchange) is accepting applications now. Covered California is the new health marketplace where you can select a health plan and receive help to pay for the monthly costs. Californians with incomes between 138% to 400% of Federal Poverty Level might be eligible for large monthly discounts, through advanced premium tax credits. Check out Covered California’s website for more information: www.CoveredCA.com
In California, only sixteen of the 58 counties have an adequate supply of physicians. A fact amplified considering that 30 percent of physicians are nearing retirement; and Medi-Cal is expanding to include an additional million plus patients. Read the full article here.
The Commonwealth Fund and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research recently released a new study, Undocumented and Uninsured: Barriers to Affordable Care for Immigrant Populations. The analysis explains that in spite of the Affordable Care Act’s goal of providing affordable and quality health care coverage for all, undocumented immigrants residing in the U.S. are largely excluded from the benefits of the law. Some of the findings of the report include:
- An estimated 61.5% (three-fifths) of nonelderly adults who are undocumented immigrants will remain uninsured. As a result, undocumented immigrants are expected to comprise a larger share of the remaining uninsured in the U.S.
- In states with the highest concentration of undocumented immigrants, (e.g., California) undocumented immigrants will make up (two-fifths) of all uninsured residents.
- Although most undocumented immigrants are in working families, they face significant access to care barriers. Possible strategies for improving care to undocumented individuals include: increasing access to certain high-value services through low-cost or free care to the uninsured, expanding insurance options to undocumented residents, and increasing subsidies to safety-net providers in communities with significant populations of immigrants to provide uncompensated or low-cost health services.
The complete study can also be found here.
NCLR released a series of fact sheets in response to the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor. Windsor struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and allows same-sex married couples equal treatment by the federal government. NCLR created factsheets detailing the implications of Medicare, FAFSA, bankruptcy, Social Security and more. Click here to see them all!
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has issued an official guidance making it clear that same-sex partners and others must be given equal visitation rights at long-term care facilities, regardless of their marital status. This new guidance applies to all long-term care facilities receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding, including nursing homes and hospice facilities. The guidance states that all patients in these facilities must be given the right to receive visitors of their choosing, regardless of whether the patient and visitors have a legally recognized or biological relationship. The guidance explicitly states that discrimination against the same-sex spouse or partner seeking to visit a patient is prohibited.
A key provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requiring employers with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance or pay a fine has been postponed to 2015. Business owners expressed concerns over the reporting requirements. For the full story, click here.
A UCLA policy brief finds that patients who lack a consistent health care provider appear less likely to receive regular preventive care. Patients without a “medical home” also are less confident about managing their health.
A new report states that over one million Californians have benefited from provisions contained in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Health Reform. The report found that state residents who have benefitted from the law’s provisions include:
- More than 500,000 low-income adults who have obtained health care services through new programs;
- More than 21,000 individuals with pre-existing conditions who previously were denied health insurance; and
- More than 435,000 young adults who are able to remain on their parents’ health plan until age 26.
In anticipation of 2014, Covered California releases a cost estimate tool that calculates premiums and copayments based on your household size and income.