California is among the worst states in the country for residents without health coverage

The results of a new study are showing that in 2010, California was the state with the most residents – approximately 7 million – who do not have health insurance coverage. According to the California HealthCare Foundation’s data, around 1 million children and 6 million residents under the age of 65 did not have health insurance. Among the nonelderly population of the state, an average of 21 percent were not covered by health insurance over the three years from 2008 through to the end of 2010. On the national list,…

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California legislators debate on new health care plan that could expand insurance coverage

California lawmakers are considering a new health insurance system that will help people obtain coverage they could not afford otherwise. Called the Basic Health Program, the initiative is designed with lower-income households in mind. The program is meant to serve a stepping stone between Medicaid and private insurance plans by offering alternatives to expensive coverage plans offered by most insurance companies. Legislators are currently examining the benefits such a program would have for state residents and how those benefits would affect the state’s insurance industry. Many families in California cannot…

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Consumer Watchdog wants ballot measure seeking public option, 20 percent rate rollback, and strict management

Consumer Watchdog, a top consumer rights group from California, is working to divert the attention of the 2012 election away from the Obama administration’s health care overhaul in favor of a state ballot measure that seeks a public option, stricter premium oversight, and a rollback of 20 percent for insurance rates. The initiative by this Santa Monica-based group is aimed at the ballot in California in November 2012. Consumer Watchdog is the same group that brought about the landmark ballot measure in 1988, Proposition 103, which set cost and regulatory…

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California to receive over $38 million to create state insurance exchange

The Department of Health and Human Services announced on Friday, August 12, 2011, that California would be receiving over $38 million from the $185 in total funds that were being distributed among 13 states and Washington D.C., in order to assist with the development of state health insurance exchanges which are required under the nationwide health reform laws that went into place last year. On the same day, the Department of the Treasury, in conjunction with the HHS, issued the proposed rules that the states would need to follow for…

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Controversy surrounds the California health insurance industry

Blue Shield of California has had a tumultuous year when it comes to insurance rates. Earlier this year, the insurer sought steep rate hikes that drew the ire of the state’s Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, as well as criticisms from the public. After a lengthy battle in which the company refused to compromise on their proposed rate increases, Blue Shield finally submitted, abandoning their proposal altogether.  Two weeks ago, the company came under fire again after the Department of Insurance revealed documents detailing how the insurer payed it’s top 10…

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California health insurance marketplace just got a little tougher for industry

In California’s ongoing battle over health insurance rates, legislators may have won some ground toward their goals of more affordable coverage. The state’s Assembly approved a bill late last week that would institute much stricter regulations regarding rate changes. The bill requires California insurers to seek approval from regulators regarding rate changes before they can collect premiums from new rates. The majority of the state’s insurance industry opposed the bill, but was unable to sway the minds of lawmakers. The bill expands the powers of the California’s Insurance Commissioner, Dave…

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Hopes that new California health insurance law will speed up pain medication process

A new bill in California is seeking to help those with chronic pain disorders obtain medications through both Medi-Cal and private insurance companies. While the majority of the state’s insurers already provide coverage for pain medications, there is room for improvement according to legislators. California lawmakers believe that the process of trial and error that companies currently employ is unreasonable. The process leaves many chronic pain sufferers to deal with the pain while the companies try to figure out what is the most cost effective painkiller. Currently, insurers require that…

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