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)

Covered Cal cost a burden, 44% say

As California's Obamacare operation begins negotiations over rates for 2016, a new survey shows many of the newly insured are having trouble paying their premiums. 44 percent of Covered California enrollees told researchers it is "somewhat difficult" or "very difficult" to pay their monthly premium, according to the study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Three-fourths of consumers who bought their insurance via Covered California ... (More)

Covered Cal caps special drug costs

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)

Poll: Obamacare stumps uninsured

Despite saturation media coverage of the Affordable Care Act, many uninsured Americans remain clueless about Obamacare offerings, a new poll suggests. "Over half (52 percent) of uninsured Americans are not at all or not very informed about the ACA, and nearly four in 10 (38 percent) have not heard about the new health insurance exchanges," according to an analysis by the Transamerica Center for Health Studies. The Harris Poll ... (More)