CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 5, 2011 |
A 65-year-old doctor was convicted Thursday of performing unnecessary and dangerous surgeries on more than 160 people in a $154-million medical insurance scam that lured patients by promising them cash or low-cost cosmetic surgeries. Dr. Michael Chan of Cerritos, one of 19 defendants accused of fraudulently billing medical insurance companies, pleaded guilty in Orange County Superior Court to 40 felony counts, including conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and insurance fraud. He faces up to 28 years in state prison.
June 26, 2011 |
The U.S. State Department is reaching out to travelers with an iPhone app. Name: Smart Traveler Available for: iPhone What it does: Provides the latest travel warnings and travel alerts for countries, listed A to Z, plus information you need to know before you go, such as entry and exit requirements, safety and security, embassy locations, medical insurance, children's issues and more. You can also forward the information to friends by email. Cost: Free What's hot: The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which allows you to enter details about your upcoming trip so that the State Department can assist you in an emergency.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 2011 |
In early September of 2001, an 8-year-old Albanian boy arrived at Los Angeles International Airport, newly blind and traveling alone in search of medical help. He spoke no English, didn't know a soul in California and was trembling when flight attendants led him off the plane. On Monday night, almost 10 years later, the same boy walked shaggy-haired across a stage at his high school graduation at the Pilgrim School west of downtown Los Angeles, smiling as he was cheered. But let's go back to the beginning.
May 28, 2011 |
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has renounced it. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he doesn't believe in it anymore. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has brushed off suggestions he even considered it. As the three have discovered, there is hardly a bigger black mark against a Republican presidential candidate today than the hint of past support for requiring Americans to get health insurance — as President Obama's new healthcare law...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 2011 |
Auto and homeowner insurance premiums have been regulated by the state of California for two decades. Maybe it's time that healthcare premiums are too. Insurance companies inadvertently have been making that case against themselves recently by announcing staggering double-digit rate increases, then backing off in the face of government scrutiny and public outrage. Aetna Inc. and Anthem Blue Cross scaled back planned premium hikes, and Blue Shield of California canceled one altogether after new state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones denounced the increases as excessive.
February 15, 2011 |
Nearly 5 million uninsured Californians could gain access to health coverage in 2014 when the nation's healthcare law expands eligibility for subsidized insurance programs for the poor, according to a new report. At that time, more than two-thirds of the state's 7 million uninsured residents will be eligible for California's Medi-Cal insurance program, which serves the state's poorest people, or for federal subsidies aimed at those who earn more but have no coverage through their jobs.
February 2, 2011 |
Healthcare reform obviously -- so very obviously -- affects people with pre-existing conditions. But how exactly? Many people would be hard-pressed to say. Find out from these experts. Join a live Web chat Thursday (noon EST, 11 a.m. CST and 9 a.m. PST) with guests Robert Zirkelbach, press secretary for America's Health Insurance Plans; Kathy Walsh, one of the lead examiners for the Connecticut Insurance Department Consumer Affairs Unit; and Jesse D. McDonald, an independent health insurance broker.
November 28, 2010 |
Dear Liz: I was involved in a car accident and had no medical insurance. The hospital bill came to $39,000 and a helicopter ride was $15,000. The only way I could pay this was using credit cards. I have high credit scores. Am I better off filling for bankruptcy? Answer: You were better off not using the credit cards. If you hadn't charged your medical bills, you probably could have negotiated a lower settlement amount with the hospital and medical evacuation company. In many cases, people without insurance are initially charged more than those whose insurance companies have negotiated lower rates.
November 8, 2010 |
Last month, California joined the ranks of states that have created a federally funded health plan for people who are medically uninsurable. All states either have a plan or will have one soon. California's Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan was mandated by the Affordable Care Act, the federal healthcare reform passed this year by Congress. It is designed to provide coverage to people who cannot get private insurance due to preexisting conditions. The plan will be in place through 2014, when private insurers will be required by law to provide insurance to everyone, regardless of their prior health issues.
October 12, 2010
The typical American spends about $317,000 over his or her lifetime in medical costs, with 60% occurring after the age of 65. By comparison, people with autism spend nearly twice as much, with 60% of the costs starting after the age of 21. The figures were part of a study, "The Lifetime Distribution of the Incremental Societal Costs of Autism. " The nonprofit organization Talk About Curing Autism estimates the annual cost of treating a child with autism this way: $11,250 for speech therapy, $11,250 for occupational therapy, and $59,400 for behavior analysts and therapists for a total of $81,900.