One of the proposed Assembly bills would put back the 10 percent cut made to Medi-Cal physician payments in the 2011 budget.
The other measure would extend the deadline for the Affordable Care Act provision that boosted Medi-Cal physician reimbursements. Assembly member Doctor Richard Pan says letting those payments expire would a big blow to Medi-Cal.
“Unfortunately it’s going to be difficult to get primary care physicians to take on new Medi-Cal patients now because what they’re seeing is that they rates will drop at the end of this year,” says Pan.
The other half of Pan’s bill would set up an annual independent assessment of how Medi-Cal reimbursement rates affect the quality of care for low income Californians.
The state office of Health Care Services declined to comment on the pending legislation, but the Brown Administration has opposed increases to the Medi-Cal reimbursement rate in the past.
In 22 Northern California counties, some health insurance customers have only one choice of insurer in Covered California. We go to a rural community north of Quincy to find out what that's like.
Blue Shield of California stopped selling policies to individuals in 250 zip codes in 2014. The coverage area reduction is especially felt in Northern California, where consumers have few choices through Covered California.
Anthem Blue Cross, the largest insurer in Covered California's Northern California region, ended an out-of-state benefit for individual planholders this year. Blue Shield of California plans in the region also restrict care to within state lines.
The open enrollment period for Covered California began less than a month ago. But the pace of applications and enrollments has already exceeded last year.
California offers several services for both documented and undocumented immigrants. But fears about deportation deter many people from taking advantage of the benefits offered to them.