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NEWS
March 1, 2013 | By Monte Morin
Here's a bit of good news for people who like bad news: A German study suggests that people who are overly optimistic about their future actually faced greater risk of disability or death within 10 years than did those pessimists who expected their future to be worse. The paper, which appears in the March edition of Psychology and Aging, examined health and welfare surveys from roughly 40,000 Germans between ages 18 and 96. The surveys were conducted every year from 1993 to 2003.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
February 26, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON -- Most Americans would rather pay more for a health insurance plan that allows them to get treatment from a wide range of doctors and hospitals, a new survey finds. But in a finding that could prove important for President Obama's health law, working-age consumers who don't get health benefits through an employer favor health plans with narrower provider networks that cost less. These are the consumers that the Obama administration is hoping will sign up for coverage this year on the new online marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act. Many health plans offered by insurers on these marketplaces feature what are called narrow networks that limit which hospitals and physicians patients can see. These plans also typically charge lower premiums.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 4, 2011 | By Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times
Lake Forest and Laguna Hills, two Orange County bedroom communities that straddle Interstate 5 just south of the El Toro Y, look so similar that locals say you cannot tell when you've passed from one into the other. With a population of 80,000, Lake Forest is twice the size of Laguna Hills. But when it comes to City Council perks, Laguna Hills leads its neighbor by a wide margin. Council members in Laguna Hills receive medical benefits worth an average of $24,300 a year— among the most generous in the state.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 17, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO -- A measure that would have required lawmakers to use the state's insurance exchange to get their healthcare benefits failed in an Assembly committee Friday. Assemblyman Brian Nestande (R-Palm Desert) introduced the bill last October, coinciding with the launch of Covered California, the insurance marketplace created under President Obama's landmark healthcare overhaul. Nestande proposed that lawmakers who wanted to receive health benefits through the Legislature enroll through the exchange.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 4, 1993
Let's peg health reform benefits to the benefits enjoyed by Congress. NORMAN SAX Beverly Hills
BUSINESS
August 3, 2011 | By Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times
Nearly 18 months after passage of the national healthcare overhaul, American employers say they are providing health benefits for growing numbers of people as they extend coverage to their workers' adult children, a new survey finds. The federal healthcare law allows young adults up to age 26 to stay on their parents' health plans. As a result, employers say they have seen an average 2% increase in insurance enrollments, with some saying the figure has jumped by 5% or more, according to the survey by benefits consulting firm Mercer.
BUSINESS
March 19, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
Premiums for comprehensive health insurance are 47% higher than other policies without all of those benefits, a new industry study shows, but those higher rates also yield lower deductibles. The report issued Tuesday by eHealth Inc., the company behind online shopping website eHealthInsurance. adds to a steady drumbeat of predictions about "rate shock" when the federal healthcare law kicks in next year. Even some supporters of the Affordable Care Act have expressed concern that the federal requirement for richer benefits and new consumer protections will drive up premiums substantially.
NEWS
June 7, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
The predictions about healthcare keep coming. The latest suggests that nearly a third of employers are likely to stop offering health insurance to employees in 2014 when major federal healthcare-reform provisions kick in. This comes from a new report by McKinsey Quarterly. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that only 7% of employees would be forced into subsidized-exchange policies, the report said, but the survey of more than 1,300 employers suggests otherwise. That research found that 30% said they would “definitely or probably” drop the insurance policies.
NEWS
January 18, 2012 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Gossiping is bad, right? Not so fast. Spreading information might have some positive effects, such as lowering stress -- if it's the right kind of gossip. A study published online recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that the way people gossiped in four experimental settings led to constructive outcomes. Researchers from UC Berkeley used the term "prosocial" gossip to describe people warning about deceitful behavior observed in others. It's different from the type of rumormongering we do when we talk about the bad behavior of celebrities, although let's not count that out as a good time.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 14, 2010 | By Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times
University of California regents approved controversial rollbacks in pension and retiree health benefits Monday, including raising the earliest retirement age for future employees to 55, to help plug huge financial gaps in the university's plans. The changes now face tough bargaining with the unions that represent about half of UC's 115,000 employees. Labor leaders said they are most upset about UC creating a two-tier workforce and contend that the changes would disproportionately affect blue-collar laborers who tend to retire earlier and with more health problems than faculty.
NEWS
December 16, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
The American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday warned that pregnant women and children should not drink raw milk and said it supports a nationwide ban on the sale of raw milk because of the danger of bacterial illnesses. The group's statement said it supports federal health authorities “in endorsing the consumption of only pasteurized milk and milk products for pregnant women, infants and children.” The academy also “endorses a ban on the sale of raw or unpasteurized milk and milk products throughout the United States, including the sale of certain raw milk cheeses, such as fresh cheese, soft cheeses and soft-ripened cheeses.” California is among 30 states that allow the sale of raw milk and one of the few that allows it in grocery stores.
NEWS
December 10, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
Scientists who looked at hundreds of samples found that organic whole milk offered more of the fatty acids good for the heart than conventional milk. “We were quite surprised to see the magnitude of difference in milk from organic farms,” said Charles Benbrook, lead author of the study and a program leader at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University. Organic food advocates argue that grass and pasture is healthiest feed for cows.
BUSINESS
December 2, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
Trying to stem a steady erosion in employer health coverage, California's insurance exchange said it's looking to enroll 7,000 small businesses next year as part of the federal healthcare law. At an event in Los Angeles on Monday, officials with Covered California said their online marketplace for small firms is fully operational and that more than 1,500 businesses had already created shopping accounts on the state website. California officials sought to dispel any confusion after an employer-related delay last week by the separate federal exchange in 36 other states.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 2, 2013 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO -- Assemblyman Brian Nestande is no fan of Obamacare, but he's pushing a proposal to require all state lawmakers to get their benefits through the newly launched healthcare exchanges. The Palm Desert Republican said he'll be introducing a bill that would require lawmakers who want to get health benefits offered by the Legislature to enroll through Covered California, the state's healthcare exchange. "This is what legislators in California have proposed that people in the state have to buy into," Nestande said in an interview.
OPINION
September 30, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
State insurance-buying exchanges - one of the centerpieces of President Obama's controversial 2010 healthcare law - begin their first open enrollment period Tuesday, an event that both supporters and opponents have been eagerly anticipating practically since the legislation was signed 3 1/2 years ago. For the first time, low- and moderate-income Americans who don't have health benefits at work will be able to sign up for comprehensive coverage at...
NATIONAL
September 29, 2013 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON - The debate over President Obama's signature healthcare law enters a crucial phase this week as the real effect on consumers starts to come into focus after more than 3 1/2 years of partisan claims and counter-claims. For both sides in the protracted battle over what has come to be called Obamacare, it is a moment of political peril. The president has staked his legacy on tens of millions of Americans who don't get health benefits at work being able to start signing up for insurance coverage, even if they have a preexisting medical problem.
NEWS
May 12, 2012 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
News flash: Eggs are really good for you. This message was brought to you by the American Egg Board. That's right - the folks who sell eggs paid for a study that comes to the shocking conclusion that eggs are an ideal breakfast food. They could have just asked people if they liked eating eggs for breakfast. Instead, they recruited 20 volunteers who were overweight or obese and assigned them to a week of either egg breakfasts or ready-to-eat cereal breakfasts. After a two-week gap, the groups were switched.
BUSINESS
September 24, 2013 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON - Most Americans who shop for health insurance on new online marketplaces set up under President Obama's health law will have a wide variety of choices, a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services indicates. And many young consumers will be able to select health plans that cost $100 a month or less, according to the report, which is based on a preliminary analysis of premiums that insurers will charge when the insurance becomes available Jan. 1 in 36 states.
NATIONAL
September 6, 2013 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON - Colorado residents shopping for health insurance next year will be able to compare health plans using a star system that ranks insurance companies on quality. In Oregon and Maryland, consumers will save as much as 30% on some plans after state regulators forced insurers to lower 2014 premiums. Californians will get extra help selecting a health plan next year from a small army of community workers paid in part by foundations and the state. As President Obama's healthcare law rolls out next month, even supporters acknowledge there will be problems.
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