One of the selling points for the Affordable Care Act was that patients with insurance would have primary care doctors to take care of them and less reason to use expensive and overcrowded hospital emergency rooms. As the second year of the health law unfolds, ERs in the central San Joaquin Valley are busier than previous years seeing patients – most of whom have insurance.
Merced residents who have not yet signed up for coverage through Covered California and plan to do so before the Feb. 15 deadline, can stop by the Merced Senior Community Center between 4 and 9 p.m. Friday. According to organizers, seven insurance agents will be available to answer questions and enroll customers.
Blue Shield has decided to close its Merced Direct Contract HMO, a network that had been around since Jan. 1, 2003, and that served mainly active and retired public employees. The network had contracted with Atwater Medical Group for several years, according to the medical group’s office staff. However, with the disbanding of Merced Direct Contract HMO, patients were switched to providers with AllCare Independent Physicians Association, represented by about 500 private doctors in Merced and Stanislaus counties.
With tax season approaching, Covered California officials are reminding the public that those who did not enroll in health coverage last year will face a tax penalty when they go to file their 2014 taxes due in April. Those who continue without coverage in 2015 will see even steeper penalties next year.
The chances of dying in a crash in a late-model car or light truck fell by more than a third over three years, and nine car models had zero deaths per million registered vehicles, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
NFL veterans who started playing tackle football before the age of 12 are more likely to have cognitive difficulties after their careers, according to a study published on Wednesday in the journal Neurology.
Insurance companies, perhaps more than previously thought, may be charging the sickest patients extra for drugs under the federal health law, in an effort to discourage them from choosing certain plans, according to a study released Wednesday.