Covered Cal rates in the mail

With open enrollment just around the corner -- beginning Nov. 1 and running through Jan. 31 -- the state Obamacare operation is encouraging consumers to begin their shopping now. Covered California began mailing out notices to its health-insurance customers the second week of October, most delivering some dose of sticker shock due to double-digit premium increases. "Most of those renewing with us get subsidies that mean they are ... (More)

Covered Cal seeks care reforms

Covered California is moving aggressively to address quality of care issues via its new contracts with health insurers. Most contract provisions go into effect for the years 2017-19. The changes include a system for identifying and penalizing health care providers who provide substandard care. "We are creating a market that rewards quality over quantity and moves health reform forward in an impactful way," Covered California ... (More)

Young adults make strong showing

Covered California's youth movement continued for the 2016 enrollment, with young adults consisting of about 37 percent of signups, the state Obamacare operation said. That compares with 29 percent vs. the first open-enrollment period. Overall, more than 425,000 consumers signed up for health care policies, Covered California said Feb. 4. That number will change as consumers have several more days to complete their applications ... (More)

Healthcare Compare site unveiled

Having a baby in California? Your average out-of-pocket costs for an uncomplicated birth could cost a lot less in San Mateo County ($920) than in Alameda County ($1,300), Santa Clara County ($1,500) or Orange County ($1,800). Thinking about a knee replacement? You'll find a surprisingly wide variation in quality ratings among Bay Area hospitals for the procedure. These are among the insights from a new consumer web site ... (More)

2016 rate increases average 4%

Obamacare rate increases in California will pretty much follow last year's script, officials say. Covered California announced an average hike in premiums of 4 percent, just under 2015's 4.2 percent. "This means the majority of Covered California consumers will either see a decrease in their health insurance premiums or an increase of less than 5 percent if they choose to keep their current plan," Covered California said in ... (More)