Healthcare

As Covered California Enrollment Continues, Don't Get Scrooged

Consumers are currently in the process of enrolling in new health coverage or switching plans for 2016, so Consumer Watchdog has offered tips to help avoid pitfalls and urged them to report any problems to Consumer Watchdog on the group’s consumer complaint page by clicking on this link.
 
Top challenges to look out for: 
 

Kaiser Permanente, Example of California's Mental Health Crisis

Kaiser Permanente won't be using testimony from this week's state Senate hearing on mental health services in any of its $50 million advertising plans next year. If it did, it would have to change its "Thrive" campaign to a "Withering" campaign. 

Will State Agency Protect CA Consumers in Centene/Health Net Merger?

Let's hope that the state's Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) is tougher on Centene and Health Net and their proposed merger than it was at a recent public meeting. 

In a letter sent to the DMHC, Consumer Watchdog urged the agency to prohibit Centene from shuttering any of Health Net's commercial plans, require it to upgrade any physician network issues and prevent executives from removing any reserves from California to pay for lavish compensation packages related to the deal. 

What's Behind the Curtain as Kamala Harris Decides Hospital Sale?

Why would a hedge fund, with little healthcare experience, commit $100 million in capital and provide a $150 million loan, with interest, to a dying hospital system?  That's the question Attorney General Kamala Harris needs to answer correctly or thousands of jobs will evaporate and critical healthcare access for many residents will vanish.

Capitol Watchdog: Meetings to Watch This Week

In this week's meeting, from Nov. 16 - 20, the state's insurance department will be hearing a dispute over a rate increase by State Farm that Consumer Watchdog believes is unfair and overcharging customers by more than $200 million. In addition, the Public Utilities Commission was expected to decide if the Southern California Edison should be financially penalized over alleged improper communications tied to the San Onofre Nuclear power plant decommissioning. 

Reducing Drug Prices Proposal Could Pit Well-Funded Healthcare Players Against Each Other

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation's proposed measure to reduce prescription drug prices in California is simple enough: Require the state to negotiate prices just like the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs does. Proponents say it will lower costs for state programs, potentially save taxpayers millions and ease rising medical costs for the most vulnerable. 
 

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