California Health Care

Find latest news, legislation and regulations related to the California health care system. Medical coverage services in the golden state are offered through the following options:

  • Covered California: The Health Exchange Marketplace
  • Insurance Carriers: providing off-exchange medical benefits
  • Veterans Administration (VA) Health Care Coverage
  • Medi-Cal
  • Prison Health Care for California

Health care in California has gone through radical changes since the passage of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in 2010 and the implementation of Health Care Reform in 2013. Obamacare plans in California are sold through the state health insurance exchange, Covered California.

Individuals, families and businesses can enroll on a health care plan through Covered California, through Medi-Cal, through a health insurance broker, or by contacting a health insurance carrier directly. Popular carriers offering health insurance in California include Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Kaiser Permanente, Health Net, Molina and United Healthcare. For rates and benefits, click California Health Insurance Quotes. Open Enrollment 2017 is from November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017. Outside of that window, you may apply during the Special Enrollment Period as long as you have a qualifying life event.

Government agencies that regulate health care in California include the California Department of Insurance, the California Department of Health Care Services, the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) and Ombudsman. The DMHC and Ombudsman offer protections and legal assistance for the consumers of health care in California.


by John Hansen

When the Affordable Care Act was passed, Blue Shield Covered California hit the pause button on brand building. They focused their attention on Health Care Reform and being ready for the radical changes in the market. In so doing, they road on their reputation as it was previously established and stopped working on building their brand. 

After Obama Care California was passed into law in 2010, Blue Shield turned their focus almost completely to getting ready for the implementation of Health Care Reform. According to Renee Casserly, Director of Sales Operations and Business Development at Blue Shield of California, this leading California carrier planned for three years, worked on their systems for 18 months, and spent tens of millions of dollars getting ready for 2014. They wanted to do well in the new world of Health Care Reform and they wanted to succeed in the Covered California exchange market.Blue Shield of California Focuses on Building Its Brand (more...)

Posted: June 23rd, 2017 under Blue Shield of California , Health Plans in California

by John Hansen

Things are getting shaken up at Molina Health Care. In the last month, the company terminated two top executives from the Molina Family, chief executive J. Mario Molina and his brother, finance chief John Molina. The company blamed this on “disappointing financial performance”. When you put that together with the bold moves Molina Insurance made in California in 2016 (very aggressive pricing, high broker commissions, and rapid gaining of low risk clients leading to RAF penalties), it seems that Molina may have taken a misstep that they are trying to recover from.

From 2016 to 2017 Molina Healthcare increased their Individual and Family Business from 53,000 to 180,000 members. They nearly quadrupled their book of business. Top leaders at Blue Shield of California question whether this was a mistake that could lead to rate increases of around 25% for 2018. (more...)

Posted: June 9th, 2017 under Covered California Insurance , Health Plans in California , Molina Healthcare California

by Wendy Barnett

Covered California applicants commonly wonder how much it will cost to have a baby with insurance. This is a very good question when you are choosing which plan will be your best option on the California Health Insurance Exchange.  Did you know that Covered California has provided a Cost Scenario Worksheet for Pregnancy?  It is a very helpful tool that can help you get a general idea of expected costs for Pregnancy and compares these costs across the four plan levels they offer. You can also see how much your pregnancy would cost you without any health insurance. (more...)

Posted: May 26th, 2017 under Covered California Insurance

by Wendy Barnett

Covered California Sends NoticesHave you received a recent letter from Covered California?  If so, make sure to open it and read it right away. Covered CA notices are always important to read, but if the recent notice sent out to certain enrollees is ignored, members may lose their financial assistance!

In the last week of April, 2017, Covered CA sent out letters called the Consent, Income and Tax Attestation Notice to members who haven’t complied with certain rules.  These members must complete certain steps by May 15th to ensure their tax credit stays in tact. (more...)

Posted: May 6th, 2017 under Covered California Insurance

by Wendy Barnett

When you have lost your job, your medical insurance from your employer can end, too.  Being without work can be a stressful time, but understanding your health insurance options doesn’t have to be. There are 4 important things to know when you have lost your job health insurance:

  1. COBRA will most likely be offered to you from your employer, but it is usually expensive and you do have other options
  2. Time is of the essence – There are rules about when you can apply for health insurance
  3. You may qualify for help such as Medi-Cal which can be free or an Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC) which lowers the cost of your health insurance
  4. In California, the California Exchange (Covered California) is the only place that offers APTC

Did you know that since Obamacare took effect that most people must apply for their health insurance during a particular period of time each year called Open Enrollment which occurs in the fall? Once Open Enrollment closes, a Special Enrollment Period begins in which applicants must experience a Qualifying Life Event in order to apply. (more...)

Posted: April 7th, 2017 under Apply with Covered California , Covered California Insurance