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The CHCF Blog

The California Health Care Foundation draws on experts from within and outside CHCF to share their health policy insights on this blog.

  1. Data Show Medicaid Expansion Benefited Family Finances

    Anne Sunderland, Senior Communications Officer, Improving Access
    Anne Sunderland
    Anne Sunderland

    Since the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion took effect, researchers have been tracking the effects of expanded coverage on Americans' financial well-being. Recent findings suggest that gaining Medicaid coverage is associated with declining medical debt, fewer personal bankruptcies, improved credit scores, and reduced reliance on predatory lending practices.

  2. How Much Have Covered California Premiums Changed from Last Year?

    Amy Adams, Senior Program Officer, Improving Access
    Amy Adams
    Amy Adams

    Open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is in full swing, and an updated tool produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) sheds light on premium trends in California's health insurance marketplace, Covered California. The tool displays what a 40-year-old at various income levels will pay in 2018 for Covered California's least expensive gold, silver, and bronze plans.

  3. Hidden in Plain Sight: Opportunities for Emerging Technologies in Medicaid

    Leslie Walker, Communications Consultant, CHCF Health Innovation Fund
    Leslie Walker
    Leslie Walker

    If Medicaid were a market in the private sector, chances are we'd hear a lot more about it in Silicon Valley. Countless entrepreneurs, courted by a slew of niche investment funds, accelerators, and tech blogs, would be vying for a share of its substantial annual spending. And yet, Medicaid, which covers one in five Americans, has been largely overlooked by entrepreneurs and investors. If we want better, more accessible health care for millions, that needs to change.

    That's why the California Health Care Foundation's Health Innovation Fund has launched a new collection of resources focused on the opportunities for innovation within the Medicaid market. Melissa Buckley directs the Innovation Fund, which invests in health care technology and service companies with the potential to significantly improve the accessibility, quality, and value of health care for low-income Californians. I recently sat down with Melissa to learn more about the program. Our interview has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

  4. Asking the Important Questions About Single Payer in California

    Sandra R. Hernández, President & Chief Executive Officer
    Sandra Hernandez
    Sandra R. Hernández

    California's health care system has made great strides under the Affordable Care Act. Among many signs of progress, the state's uninsured rate has been cut in half to 8.5%. Universal health care coverage in California is finally within reach, a goal that seemed like a long shot only five years ago.

  5. What Will Covered California Silver Plans Cost in Your Area in 2018?

    Katherine Wilson, Wilson Analytics
    Katherine Wilson
    Katherine Wilson

    NOTE (11/10/2017): The premiums cited in this blog, and on the ACA 411 tool, have been updated to reflect the surcharge that was placed on 2018 silver plans due to the Trump Administration's decision to end federal payments for cost-sharing reductions. The premiums highlighted here are representative examples only. If you are shopping for a plan, visit the Covered California website.

    Open enrollment for Covered California is underway. This interactive map on the California Health Care Foundation's ACA 411 shows premiums for the second-lowest-cost benchmark silver plan for a 40-year-old in each of Covered California's 19 pricing regions. It also shows what a 40-year-old at various income levels would pay toward benchmark plan premiums after federal premium subsidies are included.

  6. Beyond Cancer: A New Palliative Care Approach Targets High-Risk Liver Patients

    Steven Birenbaum, Senior Communications Officer
    Steven Birenbaum
    Steven Birenbaum

    For more than a year, Dr. Carin van Zyl has operated a palliative care program for Los Angeles County residents with advanced liver disease. High-risk patients at LAC+USC Medical Center receive palliative medical management from a nurse practitioner and intensive case management from a palliative care social worker. They also participate in group sessions (typically with family members) focused on disease education, symptom management, and goals of care, where they receive help completing advance directives and identifying their treatment preferences.

    Steven Birenbaum, a CHCF senior communications officer who works with the foundation's program officers on end-of-life issues, spoke with van Zyl about this innovative approach. Their conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

  7. How Would Tax Bills Affect Medicaid? Some Useful Resources

    Eric Antebi, Director of Communications
    Eric Antebi
    Eric Antebi

    Over the next several weeks, the House and the Senate will consider tax legislation with major implications for America's health care safety net. If the framework now under discussion should become law, it would cut Medicaid funding by $1 trillion over the next decade. A reduction of that magnitude would have a devastating impact on California's Medi-Cal program.

  8. Three Years In, ACA Gains Hold Steady in California

    Amy Adams, Senior Program Officer, Improving Access
    Amy Adams
    Amy Adams

    New data from the 2016 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), now available on ACA 411, show that the uninsured rate in California remains at historic lows three years after implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). When comparing 2013, the year before ACA implementation, to 2016 there are dramatic and statistically significant declines in the uninsured rate among Californians, across income levels, race/ethnicity, and geography.

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