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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 Eligibility Rules Are a Financial Salve for Nearly 2 Million on Medi-Cal

Millions of Medi-Cal beneficiaries can now save for a rainy day, keep an inheritance, or hold on to a modest nest egg, without losing coverage, thanks to an eligibility change phased in over the past year and a half. It also has opened the door for thousands who previously did not qualify for Medi-Cal, the health insurance ...

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More Than Half of Californians Skip or Delay Medical Care Due to Cost

Californians have been absolutely hammered by insurers and providers over the past 20 years. As a result, many of the state’s residents either don’t use their health coverage even though they need it, or they go into debt trying to pay for the insurance and the medical costs their plans don’t cover.

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California Achieves Near-Universal Coverage, But Budget Deficits And Single-Payer Proposals Remain

On January 1, 2024, California took a significant step toward achieving universal health coverage for its residents. By expanding its Medi-Cal program, the state now ensures that every resident, regardless of immigration status, has the opportunity to receive comprehensive medical services and health care coverage.

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California Wants To Cap Your Medical Bills. Guess Who’s Pushing Back

A new state office charged with controlling the rising cost of health care in California is moving toward one of the most aggressive goals in the nation, aiming to cap cost increases to 3% a year.

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California Lawmaker Takes Another Shot At Single-Payer Health Care

This isn’t the first time Assemblymember Ash Kalra has tried to create a single-payer health coverage system in California. The San Jose Democrat first introduced Assembly Bill 1400 about three years ago. Called Guaranteed Health Care for All, it sought to create CalCare — a universal, single-payer health care coverage and cost control system for the state. ...

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Covered California Individual Open Enrollment Deadline Extended: What To Know

Californians aiming to sign up for health insurance through the state’s Covered California marketplace have a little extra time, with the open enrollment deadline extended until Friday, officials said.

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UCSF To Pay $100 Million To Acquire Two Struggling S.F. Hospitals

UCSF Health has confirmed that its $100 million deal to acquire two struggling San Francisco community hospitals is just weeks away from closing. The city’s preeminent medical research institution has signed an agreement to purchase St. Mary’s Medical Center at 450 Stanyan St. — San Francisco’s oldest Catholic hospital — and Saint Francis Memorial Hospital at 900 ...

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Is Housing Health Care? State Medicaid Programs Increasingly Say ‘Yes’

States are plowing billions of dollars into a high-stakes health care experiment that’s exploding around the country: using scarce public health insurance money to provide housing for the poorest and sickest Americans. California is going the biggest, pumping $12 billion into an ambitious Medicaid initiative largely to help homeless patients find housing, pay for it, ...

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California System Taps Specialty Pharmacy Partner

Sharp HealthCare, a seven-hospital system in San Diego, partnered with a specialty pharmacy solutions provider Jan. 30. Patients at the health system will soon receive personalized specialty care, including side effect and adherence management, regular follow-ups, access to financial assistance, and free medication delivery. Sharp’s deal with Shields Health Solutions will first focus on four disease states: ...

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‘A Serious Erosion’ Of Affordability: Health Costs Eating A Bigger Chunk Of Household Budgets In California

Health care affordability is worsening in California, with health care costs rising significantly faster than household income, and more than half of the state’s residents saying they or a family member skipped or delayed care in the past year because of cost.

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