California’s Health Exchange Moves Forward

CoveredCaliforniaCovered California has outlined its plans to keep the state health exchange on pace for a full-scale launch on Jan. 1, 2014, reports the Sacramento Bee .

The plan includes signing up translators fluent in the 13 languages. Covered California expects to develop seven geographical exchanges reflecting different markets in Sacramento, Northern California, the Greater Bay Area, the San Joaquin Valley, the Central Coast, Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California.

In the months leading up to next New Year’s Day, Covered California will use some of the new federal funds to develop a fully operational Web portal where consumers can shop for insurance policies. Before that, though, the organization will have scoured health plans to find those meeting its standards for quality. The goal is to eventually offer consumers apples-to-apples comparisons of health plans for purchase on the exchange’s website.

Covered California will have received nearly $1 billion in federal grants — starting from the first $1 million startup grant in 2010 when California became the first state in the nation to jump aboard the federal Affordable Care Act.

By the year 2015, the exchange must be self-sufficient and able to sustain itself financially. To that end, Covered California is looking for donations from community volunteers, houses of worship, foundations, and philanthropists. When it comes to signing up an expanded population for Medi-Cal, outside funding will have to be found since the state budget is off-limits for such uses.

VSP Stays in California Due to Favorable Ruling

The Sacramento Bee reports that Vision Service Plan isn’t going anywhere. In fact, a favorable decision by a state agency Tuesday prompted the Rancho Cordova insurer to green-light a plan to add 400 jobs in the area. The state agreed to rewrite the rules governing California’s fledgling online insurance market, a crucial piece of President Barack Obama’s overhaul of the health care system.

The revision gives companies like VSP – which insure eye care only – much greater access to sell coverage in the online market. VSP and other eye-care insurers can now take aim at the full range of Californians who will buy coverage through the market, which begins operations in January 2014.

VSP, which employs 2,100 Sacramentans, had hinted it might leave the state. A slew of government and business leaders, led by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, urged the agency to change its mind. Read more here.

Last Updated 09/22/2021

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