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Industry Updates

This broad category includes articles concerning health insurance costs, carrier and health plan news, changing benefits technology, and surveys by the Kaiser Family Foundation and others on employee benefits.

What the Anthem-Cigna Mega-Merger Could Mean for California

By sheer number of covered lives, Kaiser Permanente has been California’s largest health insurer for decades. But if Anthem gets its way — no longer. The Indianapolis-based insurer is currently the second-largest health insurer in the Golden State, and one of the three largest health insurers in the nation. Its planned mega-merger with Cigna is ...

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Consumers With COBRA Coverage Should Weigh Moving To Health Law Plans

As the open enrollment season for employer-sponsored health insurance gets underway this fall, experts say there’s one group that should definitely consider changing plans: people who have coverage through their former employer under the federal law known as COBRA. COBRA allows people who leave their jobs to keep their job-based group coverage for 18 months, ...

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California Passes Bill Delaying Transfer of Fragile Kids Into Managed Care

California legislators passed a bill postponing a controversial plan that would have shifted tens of thousands of medically fragile children into Medi-Cal managed care plans. The bill, AB 187, passed both houses Thursday and will be sent to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature. At issue was the fate of the California Children’s Services program, ...

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Health Plans Come Out Against Tax Bills

California’s largest health plan group this week declared its opposition to both of the healthcare special session bills that would impose new taxes on managed-care organizations, the latest sign that a replacement for a soon-to-expire health plan tax is unlikely to emerge before lawmakers adjourn next week. Health plan taxation is the focus of the ...

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Democrat Drops Covered California Waiver for Immigrants

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – A Democratic state lawmaker on Friday dropped his effort to allow people who are in the country illegally to buy private insurance through the state’s health insurance marketplace. Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, removed language seeking a federal waiver that would allow immigrants to purchase unsubsidized coverage through Covered California. His ...

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Sutter Health HMO Joins California Choice

Sutter Health Plus, the HMO health plan of Sacramento-based Sutter Health, has joined CaliforniaChoice and will offer 12 small group plan designs later this year. Orange-based CaliforniaChoice is a private exchange for employer groups and employees. Sutter recently received approval to join CaliforniaChoice from the state Department of Managed Health Care. Sutter said brokers and ...

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Nevada Health Insurance Co-Op To Shut Down in 2016

Nevada’s health insurance co-op will be closing down on January 1 next year. The co-op was established through the Affordable Care Act and serves as a non-profit insurance organization that is meant to provide consumers with more options when it comes to affordable coverage. The problem, however, is that the co-op has struggled to meet ...

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Nevada Health Link to See Premium Increase in 2016 Health Insurance Rates

The Nevada Division of Insurance said Wednesday that it has approved 2016 health insurance rates for individual and small-group coverage. For small businesses and their employees, premiums will rise an average of 5 percent, the division said. Consumers who buy a plan through the state’s Nevada Health Link insurance exchange will see an average premium ...

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Special Session Bills Keep On Coming

Three more bills were introduced last week in the California Legislature’s special session on health. That brings the total to 30 bills in the special session — and counting. Bills on tobacco regulation, bills on end-of-life issues, on food labeling and on what to do with cadaveric fetal tissue. All of that is a far ...

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Many California Seniors Need Help Paying for Health Care, Other Expenses

About 340,000 California residents ages 65 and older have incomes below the federal poverty level, but many more likely need assistance in paying for medical care, food and other expenses,according to a brief released Monday by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, KPCC’s “KPCC News” reports. Details of Brief The federal poverty level in ...

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