Health Care Reform: Recent News & Events

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Latest Announcement from Covered California - Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Source: Warner Pacific / Covered California
March 6, 2013 - As the New Year got under way, Covered California shot out of the starting blocks in the final sprint toward the finish line of opening a new and innovative health insurance marketplace in January 2014.  In less than 10 months, Covered California will begin providing quality, affordable coverage for millions of Californians.  This communication provides an update on recent accomplishments and upcoming activities that will prepare us for a successful launch.

Recent Accomplishments

  • Covered California became the first state-based exchange in the nation to require Qualified Heath Plans sold though Covered California to offer standard benefits for each of the “metal tiers” plans will offer.  With these standard benefit designs, consumers will be able to make apples to apples comparisons.
  • Covered California launched a new consumer website at in English and Spanish including a calculator to allow people to estimate what they would pay for coverage.  The website also includes fact sheets in eleven languages and social media links at Facebook, Twitter, Twitter en Español, YouTube and Google+. We encourage you to join us on Facebook and send the link of our website to your friends and colleagues.

February Board actions and updates

The Board met in Sacramento on February 26. Materials from that meeting are available here. The following are highlights from the meeting.

  • The Board authorized staff to move forward with development of a “bridge” program that would allow individuals and families transitioning from Medicaid or CHIP coverage to Covered California to stay with the same plan and provider network, preserving existing clinical relationships and continuity of care. Click here for the press release announcing this action.
  • The Board reviewed staff recommendations on how Covered California can assure that employees and assisters having access to personally identifying health and/or federal tax information of applicants have appropriate background checks. The Board Recommendation Brief on employee background checks can be viewed here and the draft regulations here.

March 21 Board meeting preview

The March 21 Board meeting will be held at 1500 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, in the East End Complex Auditorium.  The meeting will begin at 9 AM in closed session with open session expected to convene at 12:30 PM. The following is a preview of some items that will be discussed.

  • The Board will consider for adoption Covered California policy regarding background checks of employees and assisters having access to personally identifying health and federal tax information and draft regulations governing fingerprinting and criminal record checks.
  • The Board will hear a presentation and panel discussion on the role Covered California can play in reducing health disparities. 
  • The Board will discuss policy issues related to eligibility and enrollment.  A table of the key policy issues and Covered California staff recommendations can be viewed here

Upcoming Opportunities for Participation

  • Assisters Webinar: Covered California will host its second webinar to gather stakeholder input on the Assisters program.
    • Tuesday, March 12, 2013
    • 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
    • Register here
  • Eligibility and Enrollment Webinar: Covered California will host a webinar to receive stakeholder input regarding eligibility and enrollment policy options.
    • Thursday, March 14, 2013
    • 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
    • Register here
  • Town Hall Meetings: To provide the public and interested stakeholders the opportunity to interact with and ask questions of Covered California Board members and senior staff, Covered California will hold town hall meetings throughout California in 2013.  A schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.

  Covered California 2013 Board Meeting Date and Location Updates

  • The April board meeting has been moved to April 23, starting at 9 AM.

To better facilitate Board meeting logistics and preserve resources, all future meetings of the Covered California Board will be held in Sacramento.  This year’s previously scheduled board meetings in April in the Inland Empire and October in the Bay Area will not be held in these locations and will instead be in Sacramento.  As noted above, Covered California will hold town hall meetings across the state in 2013 to provide opportunities for regional engagement for our stakeholders.

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