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BUSINESS
March 9, 2014 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I just received my tax forms from my employer for last year. I was originally a W-2 employee, paid hourly, as a receptionist. But it seems that at some point during the year, my employer changed me to a 1099 employee without telling me or having me fill out paperwork. After researching the characteristics of a 1099 employee, I found I do not qualify at all. I am upset that I will have to pay taxes on this income, since I thought they were being withheld from my pay. Do I have any recourse?
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BUSINESS
March 9, 2014 | By Chad Terhune and Eryn Brown
A pair of new drugs to treat hepatitis C offer a cure for millions of Americans afflicted with the disease - but at a potentially staggering cost to taxpayers and health plans. Until now, therapies for hepatitis C helped only about half of patients and posed numerous side effects, such as flu-like symptoms, anemia or depression. In comparison, clinical trials of Sovaldi and Olysio have shown cure rates of 80% to 90% with far fewer complications. That progress, though, comes at a price.
BUSINESS
March 7, 2014 | By Soumya Karlamangla
With time running short to sign up for Obamacare, California officials have recruited labor activist Dolores Huerta to urge Latinos to get health insurance. The state's move comes amid struggles at enrolling Latinos, who represent about 60% of the state's uninsured population. Open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act ends March 31. Huerta is co-founder of the United Farm Workers union and worked for years alongside the late Cesar Chavez. She is featured in new radio and online ads for Covered California airing statewide.
NATIONAL
March 5, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration announced Wednesday that some Americans with health insurance policies that don't meet consumer standards set by the president's new healthcare law would be allowed to keep their plans into 2017, three years later than originally envisioned. The delay, which could put off the final cancellation of some health plans until after President Obama leaves office, may have limited practical impact. Senior administration officials, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, said they believed that only about 1.5 million consumers nationwide currently were covered under such plans, about 500,000 of which were purchased by individuals and the rest by small businesses.
NEWS
March 5, 2014 | By Noam Levey
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration announced Wednesday that some Americans with health insurance policies that don't meet consumer standards set by the Affordable Care Act will be allowed to keep their plans into 2017, three years later than originally envisioned. Allowing some consumers to keep old insurance plans past the end of the President Obama's term in office marks the latest effort by the administration to get out from under one of the most damaging controversies shadowing the launch of the healthcare law. Senior administration officials, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, said they believe that about 1.5 million consumers nationwide currently are covered under such plans, about 500,000 of which were purchased by individuals and the rest by small businesses.
NEWS
February 27, 2014 | By Maeve Reston
As the Hawaii Legislature weighs bills that would make sweeping changes to the state's Obamacare program, the interim director of Hawaii's healthcare exchange on Wednesday laid out a grim financial picture facing the agency. With anemic enrollment by individuals and little interest among small-business employers, the state's nonprofit exchange -- known as the Hawaii Health Connector -- is unlikely to have enough money to pay its bills , even under the best of circumstances, when federal grant money dries up in 2015.
NEWS
February 25, 2014 | By Joel Silberman, guest blogger
In four months, I will observe a strange anniversary: 20 years since the day I almost died.  I was 11 years old and being treated for a severe case of Crohn's disease , an autoimmune digestive disorder. I could barely hold down food and was checking in and out of Johns Hopkins Hospital for stays of two to six weeks, my medication weakening my bones until my spine compressed and fractured. Eventually the doctors installed a catheter just above my heart that delivered nutrition intravenously, bypassing my digestive system.
SCIENCE
February 21, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
Despite the sunshine and the palm trees, the mountains and the beaches, California residents are not the happiest people in America.  In a new Gallup-Healthways poll that ranks well-being by state, California doesn't even make it into the top 10. People from North Dakota had the highest-well being in the country with an overall well-being index score of 70.4 out of a possible 100. Their neighbors in South Dakota came in second place with a...
BUSINESS
February 19, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
California's insurance exchange said more than 828,000 people have signed up for Obamacare coverage ahead of a March enrollment deadline. With six weeks left for open enrollment, the Covered California exchange also unveiled new TV ads Wednesday aimed at reaching uninsured Latinos. The state exchange said it saw an uptick in Latino enrollment during January after a slow start in the fall. The state said 28% of enrollees last month identified themselves as Latino, compared to 18% for October through December.
BUSINESS
February 19, 2014 | By Chad Terhune and Soumya Karlamangla
More Latinos are signing up for Obamacare coverage in California after a slow start, and the state is spending millions of dollars more on Spanish-language ads ahead of next month's enrollment deadline. The Covered California insurance exchange said Wednesday that 828,638 people overall have enrolled in private health plans through mid-February, and an additional 1 million Californians have been deemed eligible for an expansion of Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program. The pace of enrollment has dipped since late December's peak level when thousands of applicants rushed to meet a deadline for Jan. 1 coverage.
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