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CoveredCA Regional Rates for 2020 Show Substantial Savings Available with New Subsides & Shopping Around

Last week, Covered California released a detailed breakdown of rate changes in 19 regions across the state. Earlier this month, Covered California announced that Californians will only see an average premium rate increase of less than 1% – the lowest change in the exchange’s history. This new detailed information shows that at least three regions will see an average rate decrease, and the largest average increase is only 6% in San Francisco County – still lower than the average statewide increase last year which was about 8%. Importantly, if consumers shop and switch plans, Californians could see their premiums decrease by an average of 9%. In some places, such as Orange County, shopping and switching could decrease premium rates by […] Read More

CoveredCA Announces Minimal Rate Increase Due to State Steps to Shore Up and Expand Upon the ACA

Covered California announced today that 2020 individual insurance premiums will see a minimal average rate increase of less than one percent. The announcement also highlights the expected increase in health insurance enrollment of over 225,000 Californians due to the new financial help that was included in the 2019-2020 state budget negotiated last month. These minimal Covered California rate increases, the lowest in memory, are proof that our state’s actions to defend and improve upon the ACA are working. As a result of state actions, most Covered California enrollees will pay less for health insurance, as a lower percent of their income, than they do today, and many more will gain coverage that could not afford it before. More people with […] Read More

New #CABudget Deal To Help Hundreds of Thousands with Health Coverage

Last night, the California Budget Conference Committee voted on a budget proposal that reflected a deal between the Governor and Legislature, including investments in health services with additional steps to universal coverage. As a result of this budget, hundreds of thousands of Californians will get more help to access and afford health coverage, preventing premium increases for everyone and benefiting the health system we all rely on. This budget deal builds on some of the Governor’s first-in-the-nation proposals with important next steps to a more affordable and universal health system. Many Californians will get more help with health care costs and coverage under this budget. Beyond the Governor’s May Revise budget, health highlights that were sought by health and consumer […] Read More

Advocates Encourage Lawmakers to Make Budget Investments that Help the Most Californians

Last week the Assembly voted on its proposed budget investments in health and human services, while the previous week, the Senate proposed to expand Medi-Cal and to help middle-income Californians better afford premiums in Covered California and the individual insurance market. Both build on Governor Newsom’s 2019-2020 May Revision that includes first-in-nation steps toward universal coverage. See Health Access’ updated Budget Scorecard to keep track of the health issues at play in the state budget After voters made health care such a priority in the next election, the health care debate in California’s budget is appropriately not just if we can take steps to increase access and affordability of coverage, but how many steps at what scale. The Senate’s budget proposal would […] Read More

State Senate Includes Greater Affordability Assistance in Budget

Last week the Assembly has voted on its proposed budget investments in health and human services, while last week, the Senate proposed to expand Medi-Cal and to help middle-income Californians better afford premiums in Covered California and the individual insurance market. Both build on Governor Newsom’s 2019-2020 May Revision that includes first-in-nation steps toward universal coverage. After voters made health care such a priority in the next election, the health care debate in California’s budget is appropriately not just if we can take steps to increase access and affordability of coverage, but how many steps at what scale. The Senate’s budget proposal would make the most meaningful investments to help people to purchase coverage in Covered California and to expand Medi-Cal to […] Read More

Pending CA Legislative Proposals Would Secure & Expand Coverage and Lower Premiums For Over 3.5 Million

A new brief by the UC Berkeley Labor Center and UCLA Center for Health Policy Research is the first of its kind to model the health coverage impacts of pending legislation in the California State Legislature. The report finds that under the current legislative and budget proposals 1.7 million Californians would be enrolled in coverage instead of being uninsured in 2023. In addition, it would lower health insurance costs by 35% for 2.3 million people enrolled in the individual market. They would either receive state assistance with health care costs or experience lower premiums. The largest group gaining coverage would be low-income undocumented adults who would become eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal coverage. The new report analyzes three policy proposals that, taken together, would benefit […] Read More

CA Legislature Advances Key Proposals to Expand Coverage and Save Consumers Millions

Key legislation to make health care more affordable passed fiscal committees in the California Legislature, setting up high-stakes floor votes and budget negotiations in the next few weeks. The proposals would expand health coverage, increase affordability for hundreds of thousands of Californians, and reduce health care costs overall, and are all supported by the #Care4AllCA campaign made up of 70 consumer and community groups. The Assembly Appropriations Committee passed key bills that could save California consumers hundreds of millions of dollars a year, including AB 1611(Chiu) to stop “surprise” emergency room bills, and AB 731 (Kalra) to expand and improve rate review and oversight of premiums increases. Both bills, co-sponsored by Health Access California and the California Labor Federation with strong […] Read More

Newsom’s #CABudget May Revision Sets Up Further Health Care Negotiations with Legislature

On Thursday, May 9th, Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled the May Revision of his proposed 2019-2020 budget which continues to include first-in-nation steps toward universal coverage including enhanced affordability assistance in Covered California, continuing the ACA’s individual requirement for coverage at the state level, and general fund investment to expand Medi-Cal to low-income  young adults up to age 26 regardless of immigration status. See Health Access 2019 Budget Scorecard for a break down of Governor Newsom’s proposals and what additional steps we can take towards universal coverage. As opposed to the debate in DC about rolling back and repealing reforms, the health care debate in California’s budget will be about the scale and amount of help we can provide in accessing […] Read More

Thank You to Nancy Gomez’s Decade of Health Care Consumer Advocacy

In early 2008, before there was an Affordable Care Act or even a clear indication of who the candidates for President would be, Health Access joined the national effort to pass comprehensive health reform: Health Care for American Now (HCAN). We knew we couldn’t win health reform with President Bush still in office, but we could lose the potential of reform under a new President unless we did the organizing and built the movement needed. The campaign launched in July 2008 with 50 events across the country, with two of the most prominent OCCURING in California, featuring elected officials with history on health reform: then-Mayor Gavin Newsom in San Francisco and then-Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi in Los Angeles. That major […] Read More

California Legislative Committees Consider Major Health Coverage Expansions

Last week, California legislators heard and considered major proposals to expand access and increase affordability for hundreds of thousands of Californians, and which together would cut the state’s uninsured rate in half. One proposal, SB 29 (Durazo), to expand Medi-Cal to all income-eligible Californians regardless of immigration status, received 7-1 vote in the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday. That proposal and other proposals including enhancing subsidies in Covered California, preventing premium increases by instituting a state-level individual requirement to have coverage, fixing the “senior penalty” in Medi-Cal, investing in greater enrollment outreach assistance, and more were heard Thursday in the Senate Budget Subcommittee as well. All Californians benefit when more consumers are covered, getting primary and preventive care, through these […] Read More