Affordable Care Act

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    ASK EMILY: Look Ma, no option! My teeth are covered.

    BY EMILY BAZAR CHCF Center for Health Reporting
    Wednesday, Sep 10 2014 07:00 PM

    Like many things in Obamacare, dental insurance is more complicated than it should be. In today's column, I'll try to bring some clarity to the issue and preview coming changes that may affect how often you see a dentist -- and at what cost.

    There's some good news amid the complexity, especially for kids.   Q: Can you tell me where the monthly payment for the children's dental goes that I pay with my Obamacare insurance?

      A: First, some context for Ruth's question. Under the Affordable Care Act, all health plans sold to individuals and small businesses must cover 10 categories of services known as "essential health benefits." They include emergency care, hospitalization, prescription drugs, and maternity and newborn care. (Please...

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    ASK EMILY: More on those rising insurance rates

    I'm sure you've heard that premiums for plans sold through our health insurance exchange, Covered California, will go up an average of 4.2 percent next year. Just remember, "average" means just that. Your premium increase (or decrease in...

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    Exchange health insurance rates rising

    Covered California has released next year's proposed rates for health plans made possible by the Affordable Care Act, and Kern County's are expected to rise an average of 4.5 percent, slightly higher than the 4.2 percent hike statewide....

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    ASK EMILY: Big bills lurk in specialty drug category

    Another in a series of Q&A columns answering consumers' questions about the Affordable Care Act.   It used to be that your health plan's annual out-of-pocket maximum was more like the safety net under a high wire: You sure were glad it...

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    ASK EMILY: Will my Medi-Cal renewal get backlogged, too?

    Let's start with some good news (because everything is relative): The backlog of Medi-Cal applications that I called "monumental" last month is now merely "massive." About 600,000 people -- some of whom applied last year -- are still...

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    ASK EMILY: Months after applying, legions stuck waiting for Medi-Cal

    "One stop shop." "No wrong door." State officials have used those phrases since last year to describe the new, easier, more efficient Medi-Cal application process. But something happened between their mouths and reality: "A hole fell...

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    ASK EMILY: Network nightmares: When your doctor and hospital don't mix

    What good is it to have a health plan if you can't find doctors and hospitals to accept it? That question rushes to mind every time a frustrated reader writes in to describe his or her Kafkaesque quest to find care. I'm also hearing from...

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    ASK EMILY: Think you know what your Obamacare plan will cost you? Think again.

    Obamacare's inaugural open-enrollment period is over, and all you enrollees can breathe easy now. Someday I'd like to write that sentence and mean it, but not today. Instead, it's time to take a look at an unwelcome surprise that is...

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    ASK EMILY: As enforcer of Obamacare, the IRS faces limits

    Americans love their tax refunds. I know I do. So why is conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh advising his listeners to avoid them? In a word, Obamacare. "If you structure your taxes so that you do not get a refund, you do not...

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    ASK EMILY: More time to avoid the Obamacare tax penalty

    In my last column, I warned you that March 31 was your last chance to sign up for a health plan from Covered California or the private market if you wanted to get health coverage this year. So much for that. You now have until 11:59 p.m....

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    Obamacare procrastinators endure long waits, crashing website

    The state jumped through all sorts of hoops to make sure it was ready for a deluge of applications on the last day of open enrollment for Covered California Monday. Didn't work. The Covered California health insurance exchange portal...

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    ASK EMILY: Last chance: The Obamacare deadline is here

    Here it comes, folks, the deadline that I have been harping on for months: March 31 marks the end of Obamacare's inaugural open-enrollment period and your last chance to sign up for a health plan through the state's health insurance...

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    ASK EMILY: Managing your money under Obamacare

    My inbox is brimming with your personal Obamacare stories, and most of them aren't joyous odes to the new health law. Sure, I've received a handful of emails from satisfied customers, but most of the happy people don't have much reason to...

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