Covered Cal rates up 13 percent

Covered California officials are scrambling to put a positive spin on rate hikes for 2017 that should average more than 13 percent. Executive Director Peter Lee talked up the "power of shopping," claiming, "Almost 80 percent of our consumers will either be able to pay less than they are paying now, or see their rates go up by no more than 5 percent, if they shop and buy the lowest-cost plan at their same benefit level." The ... (More)

11 health insurers set for ’17

California's private insurance marketplace under Obamacare confirmed the 11 companies set to participate in 2017. Almost all consumers in California (92.6 percent) will be able to choose from three or more carriers, the state Obamacare operation said, and all will have at least two to select from. More than 93 percent of state hospitals will be available through at least one Covered California health insurance company in 2017, ... (More)

Provider lists slammed in report

Provider directories for some health plans sold through Covered California and in the private market are so inaccurate that they create an "awful" situation for consumers trying to find doctors, according to the lead author of a new study published in the journal Health Affairs. In the study, "secret shoppers" posing as patients were able to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician less than 30 percent of the ... (More)

Calif. seeks undocumented waiver

California's governor has signed into law a plan that could clear the way for undocumented people to access the state's Obamacare exchange. The legislation, from state Sen. Ricardo Lara, left, directs the secretary of California Health and Human Services to seek a waiver from the federal government to sell health insurance plans to illegal aliens. They would not receive state subsidies for buying the insurance, however. Policies ... (More)

UnitedHealth quits Calif. exchange

UnitedHealth Group Inc. is leaving California's insurance exchange at the end of this year, state officials confirmed. The nation's largest health insurer announced in April it was dropping out of all but a handful of 34 health insurance marketplaces it participated in. But the company had not discussed its plans in California. The exit was confirmed May 31. UnitedHealth's pullout also affects individual policies sold outside the ... (More)