Covered California -- the state insurance exchange -- has announced a premium rate structure for health plans participating in the online marketplace. Officials also said that 13 health insurers will offer plans through the exchange. New York Times et al.
Aetna, Cigna and UnitedHealth will not participate in the state health insurance exchange next year. Meanwhile, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California and Kaiser Permanente have chosen to take part in Covered California. Los Angeles Times.
Observers are concerned that an Affordable Care Act loophole that allows families who fail to pay premiums for subsidized health plans to continue receiving coverage for three months could leave physicians responsible for the cost of care. Sacramento Bee.
At a House hearing yesterday, Republicans pressed federal health officials about the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchange navigators program, questioning workers' level of access to sensitive data and whether felons could serve in the program. The Hill's "Healthwatch," CQ Roll Call.
On Tuesday, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors authorized the hiring of 25 individuals to help process the expected influx of new benefits applications under the Affordable Care Act. The new employees -- 21 benefits analysts, two office assistants and two supervisors -- are expected to be hired by mid-July and trained by Oct. 1, when the county will start to accept applications for benefits under the ACA. San Jose Mercury News.
A coalition of San Francisco city officials and several labor unions are demanding that Kaiser Permanente justify its planned 2014 premium rate hike of 5.5% and develop an alternate rate proposal. Kaiser says the planned rate hike is "fair and competitive." Los Angeles Times.
Fifty-six percent of surveyed state and local governments are making changes to workers' health benefits in 2013, according to a report by the Center for State & Local Government Excellence. The report found that 44% of surveyed state and local governments are modifying retirement programs this year. Sacramento Bee's "The State Worker."
California's secretary of state has designated the state's health insurance exchange as a voter registration hub, making California the first state to do so. Some Republicans say targeting specific populations could create a partisan advantage. Sacramento Bee.
A new report finds that the rate of job-based health insurance in Massachusetts increased by about one percentage point during the five-year period after the state's health reform law took effect, while the national rate decreased by close to 6%. The Hill's "Healthwatch," Bloomberg.
On Monday, the National Labor Relations Board certified the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West's recent election victory over the National Union of Healthcare Workers to represent 45,000 nursing aides and other employees at Kaiser Permanente. Sacramento Bee.
Sutter Health has received its HMO license from the California Department of Managed Health Care. Sutter spokesperson Bill Gleeson said that the organization would begin providing coverage in the greater Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley region beginning in January 2014. Sacramento Business Journal.
Garry Maisel, CEO of Western Health Advantage, said at a Drexel University-sponsored event last week that enrollees in individual health plans offered through California's health insurance exchange next year will see premiums grow significantly from current rates. Sacramento Business Journal.
California's health exchange is expected to award $30 million to groups that will help promote the insurance marketplace to uninsured residents. Grant recipients must be able to answer questions about health plans, in addition to other exchange topics. Sacramento Bee.
Gov. Brown has signed two bills aiming to prevent health insurers from discriminating against individuals with pre-existing conditions. The bills also will set up 19 rate-setting regions, among other actions. AP/U-T San Diego, Hernandez release.
An Associated Press investigation finds that California's health insurance exchange has the authority to conceal certain information from the public, including contract spending. Officials say the exchange’s authority complies with California law. AP/U-T San Diego.