Centene/Health Net Executives Answer to Regulators, Consumer Advocates and the Public

Consumer advocates are still skeptical about the proposed merger between Centene and Health Net after a six-hour long hearing about the transaction, where insurance company executives provided vague explanations of how consumers would benefit for the merger, but were unwilling to make any specific commitments to protect consumers. On Friday, January 22, California Department of […] Read More

Blue Shield Tries To Back Out Of $140 Million Commitment to California Communities

When nonprofit insurer Blue Shield California made a $1.2 billion bid to acquire Care1st, a Medi-Cal managed care plan serving 500,000 Southern California patients, it agreed to conditions set forth by DMHC (Department of Managed Health Care), including a commitment to increase its investment in the state’s safety net by an additional $140 million over 10 […] Read More

Covered California Open Enrollment Started Sunday!

Yesterday marked the official start of Covered CA open enrollment, which will run through January 31, 2016. For coverage effective January 1, people must enroll by December 31, 2015. As always, Medi-Cal enrollment is open year-round and individuals experiencing any life transitions (losing a job or moving, among many qualifying events for Special Enrollment) may […] Read More

UCLA Forum tonight: Is Merger Mania Healthy?

“Is Merger Mania Healthy?” The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has inspired many providers to consolidate and major payers have now joined this trend. Anthem has announced that it is merging with Cigna, and Aetna announced it is merging with Humana. If these mega mergers are approved by the government, the health insurance industry will consolidate […] Read More

Q & A with the California Office of the Patient Advocate OPA: 2015-16 Report Cards Release

Background Last week the California Office of the Patient Advocate released the newest edition of its 2015/16 Quality Report Cards. The Report Cards provide a tool to assist Californians in comparing quality scores for health plans and medical groups in order to make fully informed health care decisions based on the latest quality data and not […] Read More

Covered California Board Meeting Highlights from October 8, 2015

With less than one month before open enrollment (November 1 – January 31), the Board focused mainly on this year’s research-driven “no wrong door” approach to maximizing enrollment and facilitating thoughtful plan selection using shop and compare tools, quality ratings, and reaching out to enrollees who look like they could benefit from enhanced silver plans […] Read More

Blue Shield – Care1st Merger Approved With Conditions

Yesterday, the Department of Managed Health Care announced that it approved Blue Shield of California’s acquisition of Care1st, a Medi-Cal (Medicaid) managed care plan with 500,000 Southern California patients–the largest health plan transaction in nearly a decade. In the months leading up to yesterday’s approval, Health Access and other health care consumer groups, including Consumers […] Read More

Governor Brown Signs Key Patient Protections Bills Against Unfair Out-of-Pocket Costs

California Governor Jerry Brown yesterday signed four patient protection bills that will address unfair out-of-pocket costs, including out-of-network bills due to inaccurate provider directories, huge cost-sharing for specialty drugs, double deductibles in family plans, as well as extend protections against “junk insurance” to benefits offered by large employers. These Health Access-sponsored bills address some of the […] Read More