Latest KFF Health News Stories
Medi-Cal Enrollees in California: Here’s How to Verify Your Eligibility
California’s safety-net health program has resumed annual eligibility checks after three years, which means beneficiaries will need to provide updated personal information to maintain coverage. Here’s what to watch for.
Many Families With Unaffordable Employer Coverage Now Eligible for Covered California Subsidies
If family coverage on an employer-sponsored plan is too expensive, a worker’s spouse and dependents may be eligible for Affordable Care Act subsidies under a new federal rule.
If You’re Worried About the Environment, Consider Being Composted When You Die
The idea of human composting — to help restore a forest or grow flowers — may be a little off-putting to some, but it has many advantages over traditional-but-toxic methods of burial and cremation.
The Time Has Come for DIY Mandates on Covid
Yes, lots of us suffer from pandemic fatigue and have been getting sloppy about precautions in recent months. But with covid an ongoing menace — and governments reluctant to return to sweeping mandates — it’s time for all of us to step up our game.
Even Well-Intended Laws Can’t Protect Us From Inaccurate Provider Directories
State and federal laws require health plans to offer accurate lists of participating doctors and facilities, but consumers still struggle to get timely appointments with providers.
Computer Glitches and Human Error Still Causing Insurance Headaches for Californians
Covered California and Medi-Cal share a computer system for eligibility and enrollment. Nearly a decade since the Affordable Care Act expanded coverage options in the state, enrollees can be diverted to the wrong program — or dropped altogether — if erroneous information gets into the system.
California Opens Medicaid to Older Unauthorized Immigrants
Starting May 1, low-income unauthorized immigrants over age 49 became eligible for full Medicaid health coverage, a significant milestone in California’s effort to expand coverage.
Record Fines Might Mean California Is Finally Serious About Improving Medi-Cal
California regulators issued record fines against L.A. Care, the state’s largest Medi-Cal managed-care plan, for providing inadequate care to its enrollees. But whether the penalties are a sign that the state will make a more forceful effort to improve Medi-Cal’s overall quality of care remains to be seen.
J&J-Vaxxed, mRNA-Boosted, and Pondering a Third Shot
Many of the nearly 17 million U.S. members of J&J Nation, myself included, are wondering whether to set aside the current official guidance and get a second booster. Some experts say: Chill out.
What the Federal ‘No Surprises Act’ Means in California
The new federal law will provide protection against surprise medical bills for between 6 million and 7 million Californians who are not covered under state law.
Covered California’s Insurance Deals Range From ‘No-Brainer’ to Sticker Shock
Families of four with incomes of less than about $40,000 a year can pay no premiums and have low deductibles. For some others, health insurance in 2022 will cost more than in 2021 — in some cases, significantly more.
New California Law Eases Aid-in-Dying Process
Nearly 2,000 terminally ill Californians have used a 2015 law to end their lives with a doctor’s assistance. A revision of the law will make it easier to do so.
Your Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs Need Not Be a Mystery
A new California law requires health insurance companies to notify consumers how much remains on their deductibles and how close they are to their annual out-of-pocket spending limits.
California Law Aims to Strengthen Access to Mental Health Services
The law doesn’t take effect until July, but its passage should force insurers to expand their rosters of therapists. Here’s how you can challenge your health plan’s mental health services until then.
Wildfire Smoke Is Here to Stay. Here’s How to Clean the Air Inside Your Home.
There are many ways to cleanse indoor air of dangerous smoke particles, which are particularly harmful to people with chronic respiratory and cardiac conditions. Some are expensive, but cheap alternatives exist.
Effort to Decipher Hospital Prices Yields Key Finding: Don’t Try It at Home
Your dutiful columnist tried to make use of a federal “transparency” rule to compare the prices of common medical procedures in two California health care systems. It was a futile exercise.
Being Vaccinated Doesn’t Mean You Must Go Maskless. Here’s Why.
It won’t hurt to remain cautious, even as California reopens for business in response to mass vaccinations and diminishing cases of covid.
Covered California Says Health Insurance Just Got Too Cheap to Ignore
Californians who passed up health coverage in the past may be pleasantly surprised by the lower prices available thanks to the new federal relief act.
So You’re Vaccinated Against Covid. Now What?
The vaccination rollout has been unsteady, but the vaccines seem very effective, raising hopes that the pandemic will subside by later this year if enough Americans get their shots. Meanwhile, remain cautious.
New California Law Makes It Easier to Get Care for Mental Health and Substance Abuse
The measure, which took effect Jan. 1, removes loopholes that made it easy for insurers to use arcane company guidelines to avoid paying for care. Patients now have an easier way to challenge those denials.