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Affordability, Budget, Covered California, Gov. Newsom, Individual Mandate, Legislation

Deductibles to Spike as Governor Vetoes Legislation to Lower Out-of-Pocket Costs in Covered California

Hundreds of thousands of Californians with Covered California health plans will likely see their co-pays go up and deductibles rise by over one thousand dollars next year, as a result of Governor Gavin Newsom’s veto yesterday of SB 944 by Senator Pan. That bill sought to lower cost-sharing in Covered California, including eliminating deductibles in silver plans.

Affordability, Affordable Care Act, Covered California, Federal, Medicare

President Biden Signs Historic Health Bill for Lower Premiums and Prescription Drug Prices

President Biden today signed the Inflation Reduction Act, the most significant advancement in addressing health care costs since the Affordable Care Act. The law will lower prescription drug prices by allowing the government to negotiate prices, while also capping out-of-pocket and insulin costs in Medicare. It also prevents pricey premium spikes for 1.5 million enrollees in Covered California.

Affordable Care Act, Covered California, Federal, Medicare, Prescription Drugs

Historic Congressional Vote this Week Would Reduce Health Care Costs for Millions of Californians

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.

Affordability, Affordable Care Act, Covered California, Federal

Covered California Announces 2023 Health Premiums – But Pending 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, consumer advocates highlighted that the actual premiums that nearly all enrollees experience will be impacted much more by the decisions in Congress in the next few weeks.

Budget, Health4All, Medi-Cal, Undocumented

California Makes History By Becoming the First State to Provide Access to Health Care for All Income-Eligible Residents, Regardless of Immigration Status

With last night’s announcement of the state budget agreement, California makes history as the first state to agree to fully remove exclusions for Medi-Cal (California’s version of Medicaid) coverage for all who are income-eligible, regardless of age or immigration status. The final 2022-23 State Budget closes the gap in coverage for approximately 700,000 undocumented Californians ages 26-49, the last remaining age group to be excluded from accessing comprehensive Medi-Cal coverage, starting no later than January 1, 2024. This is expected to lead to the largest drop in the rate of uninsured Californians in a decade.

Affordability, Budget, Covered California, Expanding Coverage, Health4All, Medi-Cal, OHCA, Prescription Drugs

New Budget Deal to Extend Major Help to Afford Health Care for Millions of Californians

A statement by Anthony Wright, executive director, Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition, on the announcement of a California state budget deal between Governor Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders, and the impact on Californians accessing and affording health care and coverage:


Key CA Health Care Hills Up for Floor Votes This Week

The California State Senate and Assembly will hold 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. Most notably, two key bills face industry opposition heading into the votes this week: 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.

Affordability, Gov. Newsom, Health4All, Medi-Cal

Governor’s May Revision Take 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 investments, including 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.

Access, Affordability, Cost Containment, Legislation, Mergers, Timely Access

Major CA Bills to Increase Accountability in Our Health Care System Up In Committee This Week

California legislative committees are set to hear two health care bills this week that would increase accountability for health care consumers while preserving their access to care and preventing inflated health prices. SB 858 by Senator Scott Wiener, which will be heard today (Tuesday) in Senate Judiciary Committee, updates penalty amounts that the state can levy on health plans that don’t meet consumer protection standards. AB 2080 by Assemblymember Wood, which will be heard today (Tuesday) in Assembly Health Committee and on Thursday in Assembly Judiciary Committee, would provide needed oversight on for-profit hospital mergers to ensure they are in the best interest of the California public.  

DMHC, Timely Access

Consumer Advocate Reaction to $55M Fine on LA Care Health Plan

Today, the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC)  and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) fined the L.A. Care health plan $55 million dollars for tens of thousands of violations that resulted in delayed or denied care. Going back several years, L.A. Care systematically failed to handle grievances timely, by not giving consumers authorization for timely care, and by failing to ensure that LA County Department of Health Services provided timely access to care, especially specialty care.

Affordable Care Act, Covered California

California Health Committee Chairs Introduce Bills to Increase Affordability in CoveredCA

New state legislation introduced today 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, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition, would remove financial barriers to care for hundreds of thousands of patients, and encourage even more Californians to sign up for coverage.

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