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BUSINESS
February 12, 2009 | Lisa Girion
Woodland Hills insurer Health Net has agreed to pay as much as $14 million to settle a pair of lawsuits brought on behalf of 800 former policyholders whose coverage was dropped after they submitted substantial medical bills. Under the deal, which won preliminary court approval Wednesday, individuals whose health insurance policies were canceled since 2004 are eligible for payments of up to $218,000. The average payment is expected to be $7,836. The settlement would resolve a class-action lawsuit filed by Claremont lawyer William Shernoff, as well as a suit filed by Los Angeles City Atty.
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OPINION
April 6, 2014 | Doyle McManus
When Obamacare's first open-enrollment period ended last week, the tally was impressive: 7.1 million Americans signed up for insurance on federal and state exchanges by the March 31 deadline, several million more signed up for Medicaid and a whole lot of under-26 Americans got covered by their parents' plans. Those numbers represent a significant political victory for Democrats, making it highly unlikely that Republicans will be able to deliver on their promise to repeal the law. "You're not going to turn away 7 or 10 million people from insurance coverage," crowed Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 2003 | Steve Hymon, Times Staff Writer
Emergency room patients often must wait hours -- or sometimes days -- for treatment from specialists, largely because many doctors resist coming in unless they are assured adequate payment, according to a state report. The report released Wednesday by the California Senate Office of Research concluded that the crisis affects patients with and without health insurance. In some cases, patients are shuffled from hospital to hospital until an appropriate specialist is found, the report stated.
BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Lisa Zamosky
Now that open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act is over for this year, healthcare consumers can begin to put their insurance policies to work. For many, it may be a challenge. A year ago, Norm Wilkinson, 61, retired after 35 years as a Teamster and signed on to a retiree health plan. He figured he'd enjoy the same comprehensive coverage he'd had for years, but soon learned that prescription drugs weren't covered. "I did not get a prescription drug plan with it, and that was the big killer," said Wilkinson, a resident of Whittier.
HEALTH
February 25, 2008 | Susan Brink, Times Staff Writer
The term "socialized medicine" may be losing its boogeyman status, according to a survey of voting-age adults. Long uttered in warnings against any sort of government involvement in healthcare, today the term has largely lost its scare power. That's according to a study led by Robert Blendon, professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health. "This is a term from the 1940s," Blendon says. "We wondered if anyone even knew what it meant anymore."
NEWS
June 4, 1989
Surgeon General C. Everett Koop said that the U.S. health care system is unfair to millions of Americans, and he called for the appointment of a presidential commission to draft a plan for change. In a commencement address to graduates of the University of Massachusetts in Boston, Koop catalogued the ills of the medical delivery and insurance system, laying particular emphasis on inequities. "Our current system of health care is not fair, it's not just and it's not the morally strong system this country deserves," he said.
NATIONAL
March 30, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON - President Obama's healthcare law, despite a rocky rollout and determined opposition from critics, already has spurred the largest expansion in health coverage in America in half a century, national surveys and enrollment data show. As the law's initial enrollment period closes, at least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage. Some have done so through marketplaces created by the law, some through other private insurance and others through Medicaid, which has expanded under the law in about half the states.
BUSINESS
November 10, 2000 | SHARON BERNSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Secure Horizons, the nation's largest Medicare HMO, said Thursday it will freeze membership next year in 41 counties nationwide, most of them in California. The announcement that new members will not be accepted in 24 California counties, among them Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Kern, Alameda and Contra Costa, came as Secure Horizons' parent company reported disappointing results for the third quarter, though they beat estimates. Santa Ana-based PacifiCare Health Systems Inc.
NEWS
August 28, 1994 | KAREN TUMULTY and EDWIN CHEN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Through the squalls and storms of the past few months, no one has been more doggedly upbeat about President Clinton's ambitious plan for national health care reform than senior adviser Ira Magaziner and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Magaziner, chief architect of Clinton's health care plan, took great delight in calling attention to his office bookshelves.
BUSINESS
November 24, 2013 | By Lisa Zamosky
If you go online to shop for health insurance through California's exchange, Covered California, you may feel befuddled at times. An estimated 1.9 million Californians could qualify for a subsidy or tax credit, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. But to determine whether you're among them and apply, you'll need to report your income and the size of your family on the application. It seems straightforward enough. But many consumers are finding that the process can get complicated.
NATIONAL
April 4, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey
HONOLULU - When the giant kapok and nawa trees that tower over the Queen's Medical Center in downtown Honolulu were planted more than a century ago, Hawaii faced a health crisis. Many on the islands, including the queen who founded the hospital in 1859, feared that native Hawaiians, devastated by smallpox, measles and other illnesses brought by foreigners, were in danger of dying off completely. Today, the people who walk under these trees are some of the healthiest in America.
BUSINESS
April 3, 2014 | By Maeve Reston
Enrollment by Latinos in California's healthcare insurance exchange surged in the final month of sign-ups after an intensive push to reach that key population. "Our enrollment became more diverse in this last month, particularly among California's Latino population; our enrollment became younger," Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said during a conference call with reporters Thursday after testifying with the heads of other state exchanges on Capitol Hill. With 1.2 million signed up for private plans, Lee said, "We're proud of that accomplishment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2014 | By Eryn Brown
Healthcare advocates Tuesday urged the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to set aside at least $11 million in additional funding for free medical services for low-income residents - including immigrants lacking legal status - who remain uninsured under Obamacare. Members of the faith-based coalition One L.A., labor groups and community healthcare organizations told reporters and board members that failing to expand a county program to serve thousands more poor and undocumented residents would endanger public health.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
After months of head counts for Obamacare, it is the medical bills that will start to matter now. Even before enrollment closes Monday, California has far exceeded its initial goals for signing up people under the Affordable Care Act. Although the sheer volume of 1.1 million policyholders is impressive for a brand new government program, the number of sicker patients is what's likely to draw the most attention. How sick they are and the size of their medical bills will be front and center in the weeks to come as insurers begin drawing up next year's insurance rates, which will become public this summer.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Lisa Zamosky
Monday is the last day to begin the process of signing up for insurance under the Covered California statewide health exchange. But even for many of those already enrolled, the challenges are just beginning. Consider, for instance, the work to be done in figuring out your new health plan's coverage for prescription drugs. For people who take medications on an ongoing basis, it's especially important to closely evaluate details of a health plan's drug coverage. For Tina Petrakis, selecting a new health plan through Covered California meant paying close attention to the medications each policy covered.
NATIONAL
March 30, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON - President Obama's healthcare law, despite a rocky rollout and determined opposition from critics, already has spurred the largest expansion in health coverage in America in half a century, national surveys and enrollment data show. As the law's initial enrollment period closes, at least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage. Some have done so through marketplaces created by the law, some through other private insurance and others through Medicaid, which has expanded under the law in about half the states.
BUSINESS
March 14, 2010
Re: Michael Hiltzik's business column "What do we need health insurers for?," Feb. 28: WellPoint's 39% premium rate hike is pure extortion from people who can't afford to give up health insurance. Seniors on Medicare don't live with 39% rate hikes because Medicare is not designed to enrich stockholders. If private insurers keep gouging policyholders, don't be surprised if you start having "town hall meetings" with people requesting Medicare or the public option. George Bruce Wells Seal Beach : : As a for-profit company, WellPoint and its ilk have priorities that are not compatible with what is best for the populace.
BUSINESS
March 18, 2012 | By Scott J. Wilson, Los Angeles Times
If you're self-employed, unemployed or work for a company that doesn't offer medical coverage, you may have to find your own insurance. Some tips to get you started: • U.S. Uninsured Help Line: This service by the nonprofit Foundation for Health Coverage Education helps people determine their insurance options. Be prepared to answer questions about how many family members need coverage, household income and preexisting medical conditions. Call (800) 234-1317 or go to coverageforall.org . • COBRA: If you recently left a job where you had health insurance, you can continue your coverage, at your expense, under the federal COBRA program for 18 months.
BUSINESS
March 27, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey and Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON - With the Monday deadline still a few days away, the White House announced Thursday that more than 6 million people have signed up for health insurance through online marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act. That number, though shy of the 7 million sign-ups the administration had once hoped for, marks a significant milestone because 6 million was the projection for this year's enrollment made last month by the nonpartisan Congressional...
BUSINESS
March 23, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
If there were fairness in this world, Rita Rizzo would be a media star. Rizzo, 60, owns a management consulting firm for nonprofit groups and government offices in Akron, Ohio, with her husband, Lou Vincent, 64. Vincent, who suffers from Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, has gone without health insurance for 10 years. "We got 30 denial letters," Rizzo told me last week. Three years ago, Rizzo got a hip replacement. Her own insurance premiums were going to rise by $500 a month, to about $800, so she chose instead to triple her deductible to $6,000 to keep the increase to a mere $150 a month.
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