Year: 2021

Consumer Protection, Cost Containment, Mergers

HEALTH ACCESS: CA DMHC Approves Centene-Magellan Merger With Conditions

For immediate release: Thursday, December 30, 2021 For more information, contact:Anthony Wright, executive director, Health Access California, 916-870-4782 (cell) MERGER WATCH: CALIFORNIA DMHC APPROVES CENTENE-MAGELLAN MERGER WITH CONDITIONS AND CONSUMER PROTECTIONS California’s Department of Managed Health Care today approved a “diagonal” merger between the health plan Centene and Magellan, with several conditions on protecting patients from premium hikes as a results of the merger, improving access to care, especially regarding […]


California Health Consumer Champions Revealed in Health Access’ 2021 Legislative Scorecard

Health Access 2021 Legislative Scorecard analyzes how California legislators voted on bills to improve our health care system for California health consumers, including efforts to expand coverage, lower the cost of care, and hold the health care industry accountable for quality and equity. More than half of all legislators (27 Senators & 42 Assemblymembers) voted with health care consumers 100% of the time for the 2021 legislative session, with 26 lawmakers (10 Senators & 16 Assemblymembers) earning the title of “Health Consumer Champion” for receiving 100% for 3 years running (2019-2021).

Affordability, Budget, Federal, Legislation, Medi-Cal

California Health Consumers to Benefit as U.S. House Passes Build Back Better Bill

This morning, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act, with 42 California congressmembers voting to advance the historic legislation that would help lower health care costs and otherwise make investments to improve our health care system. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration, and would come back to the House for a concurrence vote before heading to President Biden for a signature.

Covered California, Economy, Expanding Coverage, Legislation

Today Begins 2021-22 Covered California Open Enrollment with Lowest Premiums Ever

Today marks the first day of the 2021-22 open enrollment period for Covered California, kicking off the most affordable coverage year ever for Californians purchasing care on their own. State efforts, coupled with historic federal investments passed this year, will mean premium help for almost all of the 1.6 million Californians enrolled in Covered California, and even more reason for the 1.1 million remaining eligible uninsured to get covered. 

Starting today, November 1, Californians will have a full 3 months to enroll in or change their coverage plan. Many will see savings in their current plans, but Californians could save more by shopping and switching. 

Affordability, Affordable Care Act, Economy, Equity, Expanding Coverage, Federal, Legislation, Medi-Cal, Medicare

Federal Build Back Better Framework Includes Major Health Investments, Falls Short on Prescription Drug & Medicare Reform

Today President Biden announced a federal framework for the Build Back Better proposal that includes historic investments to help Californians afford their health care, but does not include key proposals around prescription drug price reform and expanding Medicare dental and vision benefits. 

Affordability, Affordable Care Act, Budget, Care4AllCA, Covered California, Economy, Equity, Expanding Coverage, Health Reform, Legislation, Medi-Cal

New Data Released on Benefits of Build Back Better for Sacramento County’s’ Health

Health Access California today released new data on the regional impacts of the proposed federal Build Back Better bill on Sacramento’s health care as Congress continues to negotiate a final deal. The new data includes how many in Sacramento County would benefit from improved Medicare benefits and extended ACA affordability assistance, and how much local residents might save from these and other reforms, including efforts to negotiate and lower prescription drug prices.

Affordability, Care4AllCA, Economy, Gov. Newsom, Medi-Cal

Leg Recap: CA Takes Key Steps to Universal & Improved Health Care System This Year

The Governor’s final signatures over the weekend capped off a notable year of progress for Californians health care. Through both the legislative session and budget actions, this year saw major expansions to health care coverage, more affordable health care options, and efforts to improve quality and equity in our care. These steps will make improvements to our health care this year, in order to address the urgent needs of Californians during the pandemic and beyond, and bring our state closer than ever to universal coverage.