From my perspective, universal basic monthly income is already happening. Covered California gets money from the federal government and then sends it to the health plans. Whether the average amount is $424 or the real-world case of $2,094 per month, the Covered California subsidy is a real dollar amount that helps thousands of families in California. Perhaps Yang and Harris should study how the ACA and Covered California work and not tout their proposals has new or groundbreaking. The federal government is already paying out money on behalf of millions of health insurance consumers to make the monthly premiums affordable, which frees up money to pay all the other bills.
If you are over 50 years old and know that you have immediate dental issues that need to be addressed, or will have in the next couple of years, the No Wait plan from Morgan White Group Dental for Everyone, underwritten by Delta Dental, may be a good option. It is also one of the few plans available to individuals and families that will provide coverage and cost-sharing for dental implants.
The rallying cry in the 2020 presidential primaries is Medicare For All. But Original Medicare is the sort of health insurance that the Affordable Care Act set out to ban from the market place. Original Medicare has no annual caps on the maximum out-of-pocket a consumer must pay for either hospitalization or outpatient services. People can incur multiple Part A hospitalization deductibles during the year. The 20 percent coinsurance for medical services can mean some tests, imaging, and procedures can cost the consumer hundreds of dollars. Plus, there is no prescription drug coverage.
The family continued to wait, not paying any of the invoices they received because they figured that Covered California was working to resolve the issue. The health insurance plan was terminated by the health plan for lack of payment. If the consumer does not pay the all the premiums after 90 days, the consumer loses the right to make all the back-premium payments and reinstate the health plan. This is what happened to the family.
My research took me to the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley where I found some important letters and images of Bugbey’s Natoma Vineyard in El Dorado County. The letters, from a local Folsom resident, describe how the prevailing opinion of the town was that Bugbey himself had set the 1871 fire that burned several buildings including his wine storehouse. The gossip was that he was in financial troubles and needed the insurance money.
I grew up in California, went to college in California, and like most West Coast parents, I was conditioned to view the large private universities and University of California institutions as the gold standard of college education. I readily admit that I was wrong and can now see the glaring deficiencies of my college experience at UC Davis. The deficiencies are not a failure of the any of the large universities. They are just the nature of the system trying to push through five or ten thousand students each year to graduation.
If you think regular health insurance is filled with loop-holes and caveats to avoid paying health care claims, read the fine print on the HCSM. It can be difficult to know if the HCSM will pay on certain claims under certain conditions. Then there is the wild card of denial because of how the injury or illness occurred that is not explicitly included or excluded in the plan. For example, if you are at a gay bar and are dancing, then trip and break your ankle, will it be covered if the HCSM does not approve of activities involving the gay community?
Where a primary source of confusion starts to creep into the preliminary eligibility determination for either Medi-Cal or Covered California hinges on when the new FPL amounts are considered for eligibility. This is where the rules concerning determining eligibility are not necessarily aligned between Medi-Cal and Covered California. The rules put forth by the ACA govern how Covered California applies the FPL amounts for determining eligibility for the Premium Tax Credit subsidy, which are slightly different than Medi-Cal. The Department of Health Care Services, the agency that administers Medi-Cal, must abide by older federal rules for eligibility determinations.
The single payer proposals I have read deal mainly with the consumer side regarding access to care and reduced patient costs. What seems to be missing is recognition that medical groups and hospital have built their budgets around the existing health insurance plan reimbursement rates. There is no mechanism in the single payer proposals to limit the costs such as the cost of labor (nurses) which is a significant financial element for hospitals. Until we get a handle on the cost of health care, health insurance rates will continue to rise and a viable single payer proposal, where you have more than one or two hospitals participating, will only be a dream.
Imagine for a moment that the day you born your religion, political party affiliation, and occupation were chosen for you. It was official. You could not change what had been entered into those fields on your birth certificate. You were designated a Roman Catholic, Democrat, Farmer. Your destiny and life had been chosen. The government would only recognize what was entered on the birth certificate.