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California Watch

News stories in this section spotlight activities in California, including actions by the state Assembly and state Senate; proposed legislation; regulators like the Department of Managed Health Care and Department of Insurance; and the state ACA exchange, Covered California.

New Calif. Law Aims To Protect Patients’ Sensitive Health Information

A new state law (SB 138) that went into effect on Jan. 1 allows individuals covered by another person's health plan to submit requests to insurers to keep certain medical information private, KPBS reports (Goldberg, KPBS, 1/6).

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California Gov. Brown’s Budget Holds Back on Social Spending, Angering Some on the Left

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Friday proposed a massive $113 billion state budget that boosts education spending and state savings while leaving some social programs funded below pre-recession levels, earning the ire of liberal activists that could set up a showdown with Democrats in the state legislature.

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Could Funding Woes Imperil Future of State-Run Exchanges?

Starting this month, state-run insurance exchanges are legally required by the healthcare reform law to be financially self-sustaining.

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Seniors Switching to Medicare Advantage, Study Finds

Medicare Advantage is a popular choice for seniors already enrolled in traditional Medicare.

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At Least 7.1M Signed Up for 2015 Obamacare Plans So Far

At least 7.1 million people so far have enrolled in 2015 health plans through Obamacare's insurance marketplaces, according to a pair of federal reports issued Tuesday.

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Commissioner Dave Jones Issues Emergency Regulation Requiring Health Insurers to Have Sufficient Medical Providers

At his inauguration ceremony today and immediately after he was sworn-in for a second term, California's Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones issued an emergency regulation to establish stronger requirements for health insurers to create and maintain sufficient medical provider networks to provide timely access to medical care.

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State’s Ballot Initiative Process Remade, and Both Parties Agree

After more than a century in California's political spotlight, the state's initiative process will be getting a major revise next year.

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California Regulator Assails Obamacare Cancellations

California's health exchange is violating the law by canceling private coverage for up to 95,000 people because they might qualify for Medi-Cal, the state's insurance commissioner says.

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New Initiatives Set to Increase Health Coverage for Undocumented Immigrants in California

President Obama's executive action on immigration, announced last month, could potentially come with a much sweeter - and healthier - deal for undocumented immigrants in California than in the rest of the country.

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About 145k Blue Shield Members to be Notified of Sutter Health Contract Expiration

Almost 145,000 Blue Shield of California members who get their health benefits through work will be affected by a contract break with Sacramento-based Sutter Health - if it holds.

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