Covered Cal caps specialty drug costs

health insurance payment dollars

Covered California has moved to limit specialty drug costs, becoming the nation's first Obamacare operation to offer the protection. The Covered California board voted for the change May 21, in a policy shift that had been expected. The changes take effect in 2016. "These new policies strike a balance between ensuring Covered California consumers can afford the medication they need to treat chronic and life-threatening conditions ... (More)

18,000 signups so far in tax season

health care signup year

It's a procrastinator's dream: Those who've put off getting health insurance to avoid penalties for the 2015 tax year have even more time to sign up. The April 30 dead-deadline for health insurance comes two weeks after tax filings are due for the year 2014. Almost all of those who went without coverage in 2014 will have to pay that "shared responsibility payment" regardless. Covered California says about 18,000 have signed up so ... (More)

Blue Shield loses tax exemption

Blue Shield logo

State tax regulators have pulled the exempt status of health-care giant Blue Shield, one of the major participants in California's Obamacare operation. The move came in August, but was only publicized in mid-March. The story broke in the Los Angeles Times. Blue Shield of California said it was appealing the decision. It has not paid state income taxes since 1939, but does pay federal taxes. The health-care provider reportedly has ... (More)

Obamacare subsidies backed in poll

judge's court ruling

Despite months of news coverage, most people say they have heard little or nothing about a Supreme Court case that could eliminate subsidies helping millions of Americans afford coverage under the federal health law, according to a poll. But when respondents were told about the case, King v. Burwell, about two-thirds said that if the court strikes down the subsidies, then Congress or state officials should step in to restore them, ... (More)

Almost 500,000 enrollees for 2015

obamacare enrollment chart

Covered California ended its closely watched second enrollment with almost 500,000 new consumers. The total of 495,073, brings overall enrollment in the state Obamacare operation to 1.4 million, short of the 1.7 million goal set by Covered California. The organization pointed to "a more diverse and younger population" of enrollees, both targeted demographics. "It is clear Latinos, African-Americans and young adults not only ... (More)