Archive for July, 2010

Happy 45th Birthday Medicare!

Posted on July 30th, 2010 by HCAN California in 40 Days to Health Reform, Action, Reports, Uncategorized

Today marks the 45th Anniversary of the passing of Medicare! In honor of this occasion, HCAN California and several of our partners, including lead state partner Health Access California, are organizing celebration-events in Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco to show our support for Medicare and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act!

Signed by President Johnson on July 30, 1965 - Medicare remains one of the most popular health plans in the country. Currently, there are nearly 5 million California seniors enrolled in the program. Best of all, thanks to provisions in the new health care law, the Medicare program will become significantly better as a result of benefits that make it more efficient and sustainable while also helping to make prescription medicine more affordable for seniors and offering comprehensive preventive care coverage for FREE.

Want to get involved? Join us in Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco and help us celebrate Medicare and the new health law!

Click here to RSVP for a celebration event in YOUR city!

OVERVIEW: What the new health care law means to you

Posted on July 20th, 2010 by HCAN California in California Implementation

There’s been a lot of talk about the new health care law. And a lot of misinformation.

Here’s what the new will do:

  • Stop the abuses of big insurance, like denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.
  • Give you the peace of mind of knowing that you’ll have good health coverage you can afford, even if you want to retire early, start a small business or you lose your job.
  • Give members of Congress the same choices in coverage as tens of millions of Americans.
  • Make health coverage more affordable for seniors on Medicare and small businesses.

The benefits of the new law start in 2010. Highlights include:

  • Insurance companies will not be able to deny children coverage for pre-existing conditions or cancel coverage because a person has been treated in the past.
  • The Medicare prescription drug donut hole will be reduced; seniors who fall into the donut hole will get $250 back.
  • Children will be able to stay on their parent’s health coverage until they turn 26.
  • Small businesses will get a 35% tax credit to help pay for their employees’ coverage.

Those who advocate repeal this year need to explain to the people and businesses that will have these specific benefits why they want to take them away.

In 2014, when the law if fully in place:

  • Insurance companies won’t be able to deny anyone coverage for pre-existing coverage or place limits on annual or lifetime payments for covered benefits.
  • People who don’t get health coverage at work will choose among health insurance plans in a new marketplace. The amount that a person will pay will be based on their income, on a sliding scale, so coverage will be affordable.
  • Members of Congress will get the same choices of coverage as other people in the new marketplace.
  • The Medicare prescription drug “donut hole” will continue to shrink until it is totally eliminated, helping millions of seniors with lower drug costs.

Members of Congress who voted for reform stood up against the insurance companies, their misleading ads, 1,700 lobbyists and campaign cash and voted to take our side.

It’s time to move beyond political games and fully realize the promise of reform - quality, affordable health care for all.

Sign Today and Take a Stand Against Insurance Industry Abuse!

Posted on July 8th, 2010 by HCAN California in California Implementation

As we’ve seen time and again - the insurance industry wants nothing to do with reforming our nation’s broken health care system to make it better, more affordable and more accessible for millions of Americans. In fact, they’ve gone to great lengths to oppose it - including spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a misinformation campaign to discredit the new law and working behind the scenes to obstruct it’s implementation at every step of the way.

Here in California, there are several critical state implementation bills that will ensure that Californians get the most out of the new health care law. Many of these also call for increased oversight of the insurance industry, including:

  • AB 2578 (Jones) - Would require approval by the Department of Managed Health Care OR the Department of Insurance whenever insurance companies attempt to raise premiums, co-payments, coinsurance, deductibles or other charges under a health plan.
  • SB 1163 (Leno) - Would require health plans to provide, in writing, specific reasons for denial of coverage or for charging higher than standard rates of coverage.
  • AB 2042 (Feuer) - Would prohibit insurers and HMOs from changing or increasing premiums, cost sharing or benefits more than once a year.

But even now that health reform is the law of the land, insurance industry giants like Anthem Blue Cross and Aetna are still trying to bleed hard-working Californians dry by unjustly and erroneously raising premiums. Perhaps most shocking is the arrogance in which these companies attempt to impose rate increases on California consumers in the individual market when their math is plagued with miscalculations and accounting errors.

But you can help end this, and other insurance industry abuses, by signing the HCAN-CA Petition today URGING State legislators to support these vital state implementation bills and protect California consumers!

Click here to sign today!

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