What would the federal Inflation Reduction Act mean for Californian’s health?

This week, the U.S. Congress is poised to vote on a much anticipated package of health and other reforms that will provide both immediate and long-term relief from rising health plan premiums and prescription drug prices. In addition to notable climate change and tax policy provisions, the Inflation Reduction Act represents the most impactful federal legislation on health costs since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. With the Inflation Reduction Act, California will get real relief from inflated health plan premiums and prescription drug prices. It reforms that patient advocates have sought for years, if not decades, including: It extends significant subsidies to 1.7 million enrollees in Covered California health plans, limiting their premiums to no more than 8.5% […] Read More

Covered California 2023 Rates Announced–But Congressional Action Matters More

After three years of record-low premium rate increases of around one percent, Covered California, the state’s health care insurance marketplace, today announced 2023 rates, including a new health plan option, and an average increase of 6% for 2.3 million enrollees in the California individual insurance market, including the record-high 1.7 million in Covered California. While these increases are lower than the national average due to Covered California’s role actively negotiating rates, we as consumer advocates want to highlight that the actual premiums that nearly all enrollees experience will be impacted much more by the decisions in Congress in the next few weeks. In 2021 and 2022, virtually all Covered California consumers saw significant reductions in their premiums, thanks to additional […] Read More

New #CABudget Deal Extends Major Help to Afford Health Care to Millions of Californians

The Governor and Legislature announced a final deal on the California state budget late yesterday, including some major investments in a variety of health and human services. We greatly appreciate that this state budget deal includes crucial commitments to improve health care access and affordability for Californians, providing real relief to many immediately, with the potential to eventually help all Californians with the cost of coverage and care. Here are some highlights: OFFICE OF HEALTH CARE AFFORDABILITY: Years in the making, a new Office of Health Care Affordability will take time to set up, but has real potential to prevent ever inflating health care prices for all Californians, regardless if they get coverage through an employer, public program, or individually. […] Read More

Responding to the Supreme Court Overturning Roe V. Wade, at the State and Federal Level

We share the anger of majority of Americans about the Supreme Court of overturning a 50-year precedent and the constitutional right to access critical health care services. Abortion is health care.  We know we stand with our allies and millions to ensure safe access to needed care, including reproductive health services, at the state *and* federal level. We are proud that California is taking steps to ensure access to abortion and reproductive health services, including for low-income, uninsured, and others who need it most, even as we continue the long and ongoing federal fight.  We urge Californians to continue to take advantage of abortion services, which are protected and covered in all state-regulated health plans.  We appreciate our California agencies […] Read More

These Key CA Health Care Bills Passed the Floor This Week

The California State Senate and Assembly held their floor sessions this week, with the opportunity to vote on major health care legislation to increase accountability in our health care system and improve health access for consumers. AB 2080 by Assemblymember Wood strengthens oversight on for-profit hospital and health industry mergers to ensure they are in the public interest and SB 858 by Senator Scott Wiener which updates penalty amounts that the state can levy on health plans that don’t meet consumer protection standards. Both passed this week and head to the opposite house for next steps. ADDRESSING HEALTH INDUSTRY CONSOLIDATION Research shows health care consolidation is one of the major drivers of increasing health care costs. Health prices in California have less […] Read More

California Governor Gavin Newsom Released May Revise Which Takes Steps on Health Affordability–But Legislature Should Do More

Governor Gavin Newsom released his May Revision of a $300 billion state budget, which continues to propose major steps to expand health care coverage, and included some new investment to ensure Californians keep the coverage as the public health emergency unwinds. Building on these proposals and given the urgent needs, health and community advocates urged the Legislature to take quicker and additional steps to address health affordability. We appreciate Governor Newsom’s continued commitments to significantly improve health care access and affordability, and we urge the Legislature to seek more relief sooner to help California families stressed by health care costs. The focus on health care affordability is welcome and urgent, and under this budget, California has the opportunity to provide […] Read More

#Health4All: Empezando el 1 de mayo de 2022, adultos indocumentados y mayores de 50 años ahora pueden inscribirse para Medi-Cal!

¿Sabían que empezando el 1 de mayo de 2022, más californianos serán elegibles para Medi-Cal completo? Independiente de su estado migratorio, todos los californianos que califican con sus ingresos pueden inscribirse para Medi-Cal completo sin costo alguno.  Todavía hay mucho trabajo que hacer para lograr Health4All, pero este es un gran paso hacia la cobertura médica universal en California. Nuestro estado es más fuerte cuando todos son saludables y tienen cobertura médica. Nuestro sistema de cuidado de salud es mejor y más equitativo cuando promovemos el bienestar de todas las familias y comunidades en California. ¿Es indocumentado, tiene 50 años o mas, y necesita ayuda aplicando para Medi-Cal? Si puede cumplir con los requisitos de elegibilidad, puede aplicar empezando en […] Read More

#Health4All: Medi-Cal’s Older Adult Enrollment Starts May 1, 2022!

En Español Did you know starting May 1, 2022 more Californians qualify for Medi-Cal?  Now, all income-eligible Californians ages 50 and over, regardless of immigration status will be able to enroll in comprehensive coverage through Medi-Cal! There is still a lot of work left to do to achieve Health4All, but this is a major step towards universal health care coverage in California. Our state is stronger when everyone is covered and healthy. Our health care system is better and more equitable when we promote the well-being of all California families and communities.  Are you 50 years or older, undocumented, and need to apply for Medi-Cal? If you meet eligibility requirements you can apply starting May 1.  Apply online at https://www.coveredca.com/  […] Read More

Twelve Years of the ACA in California

A Look Back at the Dozen Years of Implementing & Improving the Affordable Care Act, and More in CA The last decade+ in California was built on two major events, which shaped the years ahead: The re-emergence of a major budget crisis in California in 2009. That year, major budget cuts triggered 10% provider rate cuts, and the elimination of dental and other benefits in Medi-Cal—benefits that took ten years to be restored. The passage and enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010, with leadership from President Obama, and many California Congressional leaders (including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, key committee chairs Waxman, Miller, and Stark, and many others). Since then, California’s actions to implement and improve upon […] Read More

CA Health Committee Chairs Intro Bills to Increase Affordability in CoveredCA

New state legislation introduced this week would fill key affordability gaps in Covered California, potentially lowering cost-sharing and eliminating deductibles for over a million Californians getting coverage through the state marketplace. AB 1878 by Assemblymember Dr. Jim Wood, and SB 944 by Senator Dr. Richard Pan, both sponsored by Health Access California would remove financial barriers to care for hundreds of thousands of patients, and encourage even more Californians to sign up for coverage. Without such help, low- and middle-income Californians face counterproductive out-of-pocket costs that are financially unfeasible. High cost-sharing, especially deductibles, lead people who have coverage to avoid needed care, or face debt for seeking care, and keeps some people from purchasing care at all. Those who earn just over $2,000 […] Read More