February 04, 2021
California stands to win big as Biden and Democrats embrace Obamacare expansion
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration and Democrats in Congress are hoping to tuck into their economic recovery plan a significant expansion of the Affordable Care Act modeled off a program first enacted in California last year. The proposal would amount to the most substantive expansion of Obamacare since its 2010 passage and potentially save California about $350 million a year by absorbing the state’s costs for its own experimental program. The Biden proposal “would totally take the place of, and do more than, what the state subsidies have done,” said Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California. “The state would be able to repurpose resources. And Californians would benefit with more money in their pocket virtually overnight.”
December 29, 2020
Obamacare, in Its First Big Test as Safety Net, Is Holding Up So Far
In past recessions, the uninsured rate would surge. Now, for the first time, Americans are experiencing a recession with the Affordable Care Act in place. The health law’s expansion of Medicaid and its offer of subsidized health plans have provided a new safety net for those who have lost their jobs and their health insurance.
October 16, 2020
‘Death spiral’: What happens in California if the Supreme Court invalidates Obamacare?
Nearly 17 million Californians with pre-existing conditions could face higher health costs or loss of benefits. Five million Californians could lose health insurance coverage completely. California would lose $27 billion to cover health care costs for low-income families.
September 06, 2019
Faces of the arts shutdown: Samantha McLaughlin: ‘I miss it. I miss it all’
In August, things changed drastically when her husband got laid off. Health insurance isn’t as big a worry anymore — “Now with my husband laid off, we can apply for Covered California and all have the same coverage, which makes that aspect a little easier.”
June 27, 2020
Obamacare Faces Unprecedented Test as Economy Sinks
The Affordable Care Act, the landmark health law that has been a subject of caustic debate for more than a decade, is being tested as never before, as millions of Americans lose their jobs and medical coverage in the midst of the nation’s gravest health crisis in a century. The law is offering a vast majority of newly unemployed people a path to stopgap health coverage, providing a cushion that did not exist during the last crushing recession — or ever before.
May 25, 2020
Coronavirus widens healthcare divide between red states and blue states
BAKERSFIELD — Jenny Morones and Courtney Marrs are both working mothers. Both labor to raise three children on low incomes. Both fled abusive relationships. But because Morones lives in California — a state that expanded its safety net through the Affordable Care Act — she has health coverage. It protected her from financial ruin last year when a severe infection put her in the hospital.
May 13, 2020
Coronavirus impact: Millions have lost jobs and health insurance; Here's how to regain coverage in California
As unemployment is skyrocketing, so is the number of Americans losing their job-based health insurance. During the pandemic, health coverage is perhaps more important than ever. It's another one of our focuses as we tell stories to build a better Bay Area. Between March 1st and May 2nd of this year, nearly 78 million people in the U.S. lived in a family in which someone lost a job.
March 13, 2020
Column: How California made Obamacare work
California’s nation-leading embrace of the Affordable Care Act began with a Republican governor. Arnold Schwarzenegger had been trying since 2007 to create a universal healthcare program for the state. He had reached an agreement with then-Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D-Los Angeles) to impose an individual mandate — a requirement that almost all Californians carry health insurance — while providing subsidies for low-income residents.
March 06, 2020
California shows how to build on the ACA
As we near the 10th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, our country faces two divergent paths to address health care cost and affordability. One road includes federal actions that not only undermine the ACA but threaten to wipe out the law as it goes back to the U.S. Supreme Court in the fall. In California, we have taken a different path to protect and build on the ACA. The results of these differing strategies are becoming increasingly clear and are being felt by millions of people.
November 08, 2019
Editorial: Health insurance reform is real in California, not in Washington, D.C.
Open-enrollment season is now underway for health insurance plans across the country, which means many Americans will be receiving unpleasant news about how much more their coverage will cost in the coming year. But for one group of consumers, premiums will actually go down for the second straight year.
September 12, 2019
More Californians got health insurance annually over 4 years. Here’s why the rate stalled
California has seen its rate of uninsured residents drop every year since the state’s affordable care marketplace, Covered California, began offering insurance policies, but 2018 was the exception. The rate stalled last year at 7.2 percent, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau, despite the fact that taxpayers were still subject to the individual mandate penalty on their tax returns. Nationally, the rate of uninsured rose to 8.5 percent from 7.9 percent.
September 30, 2019
With the Affordable Care Act’s future in doubt, evidence grows that it has saved lives
Such findings are part of an emerging mosaic of evidence that, nearly a decade after it became one of the most polarizing health-care laws in U.S. history, the ACA is making some Americans healthier — and less likely to die.
August 16, 2019
Column: California shows all states how to protect patients from Trump’s attacks on Obamacare
Covered California, the state’s Affordable Care Act exchange, announced some good news a few weeks ago.
May 15, 2019
Open Forum: Trump abolished the health care mandate. California needs to restore it.
Once again, we are hearing the threat to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act as distant thunder rumbling at the federal level. The story in California is much different, however, as Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature are working to put our state on the path to universal coverage. One element includes bringing back the individual mandate penalty to individuals who can afford health insurance but do not to buy it.
April 24, 2019
KFF Health Tracking Poll - April 2019: Surprise Medical Bills and Public's View of the Supreme Court and Continuing Protections for People With Pre-Existing Conditions
The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions continue to weigh heavily on the minds of Americans, especially in light of the ongoing legal battle on the future of the ACA. The majority of the public say they do not want to see the Supreme Court overturn either the pre-existing condition protections (68 percent) or the entire health care law (54 percent); and most – including about half of Republicans – also say it is “very important” to them that the ACA provisions protecting people with pre-existing conditions remain law even after hearing that these protections may have led to increased insurance costs for some healthy people.
December 07, 2018
The Health 202: Obamacare enrollment is down 11 percent from last year
With just over a week now left in the sign-up period for 2019 Obamacare plans, new figures show enrollment is down compared with last year. Overall, sign-ups through HealthCare.gov, the federal Affordable Care Act exchange, are down 11 percent through the first five weeks compared with the same time last year -- and experts say final numbers are on track to be lower overall at the end of enrollment. It's still possible for a surge in the final days, as people wait until the last minute to choose health-care plans for 2019.
August 23, 2018
Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee explains why the Affordable Care Act must survive
Sacramento News & Review publisher and CEO Jeff vonKaenel visited Peter V. Lee in his Sacramento office last month to discuss the Affordable Care Act, skyrocketing costs and California’s role in the future of health care.
August 23, 2018
Modern Healthcare - 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare 2018
Covered California's Executive Director, Peter V. Lee, is named to the prestigious list for the second consecutive year.
February 08, 2018
Covered California reports big jump in new enrollees
Covered California finished 2018 open enrollment with 423,484 new enrollees signing up for coverage, so the agency’s leader isn’t worried about his agency’s continued existence.
February 07, 2018
ACA’s state-run insurance exchanges fare better than the law’s federal marketplace
The Affordable Care Act is working -- in states allowed to run it properly.
February 07, 2018
Q&A With Peter V. Lee, Executive Director, Covered California
Peter V. Lee talks about how investments in marketing and public relations drove increased consumer confidence in an entirely new way of buying health insurance.
November 29, 2017
Californians embrace Obamacare despite Trump attacks
Santa Rosa Press Democrat editorial board op-ed
November 01, 2017
Calif. Outspends U.S. To Market Obamacare
Covered California, the state’s Obamacare exchange, is wielding a monster marketing budget this enrollment season that devotes $45 million to ads a contrast to how the Trump administration is handling the federal rollout.
November 01, 2017
Covered California health insurance market is alive and well
San Jose Mercury News Editorial Board Op-Ed on how well Covered California is doing
October 16, 2017
Trump doesn't know it, but his attempt to blow up Obamacare could help California — and other states
Column examining how the Trump administration didn’t fully grasp what their decision to end CSRs could lead to and predicting how one fallout could be increased enrollment.
October 16, 2017
Trump Says Obamacare Is ‘Imploding.’ That’s News To California.
Funny what happens when officials actually believe in the program.
October 16, 2017
Yes, Obamacare needs tweaks — but it’s been a policy triumph
With the exception of Covered California, which created a vibrant market that has saved consumer money with only 4 percent premium growth and has helped health plans make money, most states have struggled to attract enough healthy people to create profitable and stable insurance markets.
November 11, 2015
Covered California exchange offers dental coverage for adults in 2016
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will brighten smiles among adults in California in 2016.
October 02, 2015
Whither Health Insurance Exchanges Under The Affordable Care Act? Active Purchasing Versus Passive Marketplaces
The health insurance exchange, the organizational innovation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is here to stay. The principle of consumer choice among private health plans, with financial subsidies for low-income households, is now firmly entrenched. The Supreme Court has ruled that low-income subsidies are constitutional and hence that the exchanges can operate effectively in all 50 states.
May 21, 2015
Covered California to cap patient costs for high-priced specialty drugs
California becomes first state in the nations to set caps for conditions such as Hepatitis-C and HIV.