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California Opens Medicaid to Older Unauthorized Immigrants

On May 1, California opened Medi-Cal to older immigrants residing in the state without legal permission. Unauthorized immigrants over age 49 who fall below certain income thresholds are now eligible for full coverage by Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid, the federal-state partnership that provides health insurance to low-income people. Unauthorized immigrants of all ages account […]

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Despite Losing Federal Money, California Is Still Testing Uninsured Residents for Covid — For Now

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California is still offering free covid testing to uninsured residents even though the federal government ran out of money to pay for it. While Congress debates whether to put more money into free testing, California is leaning on programs it already had in place: special state-based coverage for uninsured Californians, school testing, […]

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Journalists Cover the Gamut, From Rising Insulin Costs to Delays in Autism Care for Children

KHN Midwest correspondent Bram Sable-Smith shared a firsthand perspective on ballooning insulin costs on “Tradeoffs” on April 21. KHN’s Colleen DeGuzman profiled the last abortion clinic in the Rio Grande Valley on KUT and “Texas Standard” on April 21. KHN South Carolina correspondent Lauren Sausser detailed how families travel across state borders to access psychiatric […]

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Battle Lines Are Drawn Over California Deal With Kaiser Permanente

[Editor’s note: KHN is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.] California counties, health insurance plans, community clinics, and a major national health care labor union are lining up against a controversial deal to grant HMO giant Kaiser Permanente a no-bid statewide Medicaid contract as the bill heads for its first legislative hearing Tuesday. The deal, hammered out […]

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How a Former Catholic Priest Is Navigating a California Medicaid Plan Through Big Changes 

ORANGE, Calif. — For Michael Hunn, the path from priesthood to health care was seamless. Hunn, a native of St. Louis, counseled hospitalized patients as a Catholic priest in the 1980s before leaving the clergy and shifting to health care administration. Over the next three decades, he was CEO of nine different hospitals — in […]

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California Handed Its Medicaid Drug Program to One Company. Then Came a Corporate Takeover.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Prescription drug costs for California’s massive Medicaid program were draining the state budget, so in 2019 Gov. Gavin Newsom asked the private sector for help.  The new Medicaid drug program debuted this January, with a private company in charge. But it was woefully unprepared, and thousands of low-income Californians were left without […]

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Record Fines Might Mean California Is Finally Serious About Improving Medi-Cal

Is California getting tougher on health plans that participate in Medi-Cal, the state’s insurance program for low-income residents? A few weeks ago, state regulators imposed a record $55 million in fines on L.A. Care, California’s largest Medi-Cal managed-care plan, for failing to ensure adequate care and allowing treatment delays that threatened enrollees’ health. Patient advocates […]

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Backlogs in California’s Medicaid Drug Program Ease, but Problems Persist

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The contractor running California’s new Medicaid prescription drug program has addressed shortfalls that earlier this year left thousands of enrollees without critical medications, some languishing on hold for hours as they sought help, state officials told lawmakers Thursday.  But doctors and health care clinics say that some patients are still suffering and that […]

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Journalists Review Hospital Penalties and Problems Riddling Medicaid Rx Program

Samantha Young, a political correspondent for California Healthline, on Feb. 15 discussed how Medi-Cal patients struggle to get their prescription drugs on KCRW’s “Press Play.” Interim Southern bureau editor Andy Miller discussed Medicare penalties for hospitals in Georgia on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “Lawmakers” on Feb. 10. Related Topics Contact Us Submit a Story Tip Source

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‘Somebody Is Gonna Die’: Medi-Cal Patients Struggle to Fill Prescriptions

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A month into its debut, California’s new Medicaid prescription drug program is riddled with problems, leaving thousands of patients without medications — often after languishing on hold for up to eight hours on call center phone lines. On Jan. 1, the state handed control of its Medicaid drug program, known as Medi-Cal […]