CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 14, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - Officials who oversee the healthcare plans of San Francisco public employees and their families excoriated Kaiser executives Thursday for failing to adequately explain a proposed rate increase, but ultimately voted to back it as the clock ran out. Public workers have seen their healthcare costs spiral while accepting pay cuts and furlough days at the bargaining table. In an unusual move, labor unions teamed up with San Francisco's Health Service System earlier this year to demand greater transparency from Kaiser.
June 4, 2013 |
Blue Shield of California owes $24.5 million in rebates to thousands of small-business customers, and rival Anthem Blue Cross will return $12 million to small firms under requirements of the federal healthcare law. The annual rebates were disclosed in reports to state regulators, and the final tally from some companies may change before they are paid out by Aug. 1. The rebate is required under the federal Affordable Care Act when insurers fail...
May 23, 2013 |
After weeks of negotiations, California said it has selected 13 health plans for a new state-run insurance marketplace where as many as 5 million people will shop for coverage next year. Officials at Covered California, the state agency implementing the federal Affordable Care Act, said Thursday that the winning bidders reflected a mix of large commercial insurers and smaller regional plans. The state also released some sample rates, illustrating how premiums will vary across health plans in this new market.
May 22, 2013 |
Some prominent health insurers, including industry giant UnitedHealth Group Inc., are not participating in California's new state-run health insurance market, possibly limiting the number of choices for millions of consumers. UnitedHealth, the nation's largest private insurer, Aetna Inc. and Cigna Corp. are sitting out the first year of Covered California, the state's insurance exchange and a key testing ground nationally for a massive coverage expansion under the federal healthcare law. Meanwhile, the biggest insurers in the state - Kaiser Permanente, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California - are all expected to participate in the state-run market for individual health coverage.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 13, 2013 |
The runoff election for the 32 nd Senate District in San Bernardino and L.A. counties is set for Tuesday, and Democratic candidate Norma Torres and Republican contender Paul S. Leon are campaigning down to the wire. Torres, a state Assemblywoman from Pomona, has an advantage in campaign cash and voter registration in the district, which is 49% Democrat and 28% Republican. The district includes Fontana, Montclair and San Bernardino. The seat became vacant when Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino)
May 8, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO -- An 8% cut in homeowner insurance rates for customers of Mercury General Corp. is back in play, now that a judge has denied a stay request by the Los Angeles insurer. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones in March ordered the rate decrease, totaling $16.5 million for 270,000 policyholders. But Mercury lawyers asked for a stay in Sacramento Superior Court. Expensive homes | Southern California sales get outrageous The lower rates are now in force and should show up on coming bills for new policies and renewals.
April 17, 2013 |
The California Public Employees' Retirement System picked four new HMO plans for five-year health insurance contracts starting next year, a blow to incumbent carrier Blue Shield of California. The giant pension fund voted Wednesday to split up Blue Shield's statewide HMO contract and offer additional plans from Anthem Blue Cross, UnitedHealth Group Inc., Sharp Health Plan and Health Net Inc. alongside Blue Shield. Those five companies will offer health maintenance organization plans to about 400,000 people who have Blue Shield coverage now as well as to other CalPERS members participating in open enrollment this fall.
April 16, 2013 |
A key committee of the California Public Employees' Retirement System backed its staff's recommendation to break up Blue Shield of California's statewide HMO contract. The agency's pension and health benefits committee voted Tuesday in favor of awarding health-maintenance-organization contracts to both Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield to cover most of the state. The committee also supported giving an HMO contract to UnitedHealth Group Inc. in portions of Northern and Southern California and enlisting Sharp Health Plan in San Diego County.
April 11, 2013 |
Blue Shield of California may be losing its longtime grip on one of the healthcare industry's most coveted insurance contracts. Officials at the California Public Employees' Retirement System are recommending breaking up Blue Shield's current statewide HMO contract and replacing it with as many as four health plans for more than 400,000 public workers and their families. The CalPERS board of administration will consider its staff's recommendation next week and decide among seven companies that submitted bids.
April 9, 2013 |
Health insurers don't exactly enjoy a reputation for timely payouts when people submit claims. They've been known to make policyholders jump through all sorts of hoops before coming across with a little cash. But when you owe them money, that's another story. Karen Fairbank, 60, of Pacific Palisades discovered this recently when Blue Shield of California sent her a letter demanding that she return a payment of more than $2,400, and that she do it pronto. Plus $4.70 in interest.