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Jul 15, 2019
About Asking Never Hurts

A series of columns addressing the challenges consumers face in California’s health care landscape.

Send questions to bwolfson@kff.org.

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This story can be republished for free (details).

Have you ever stepped up to the pharmacy cash register only to learn your new prescription will cost you hundreds of dollars — instead of your typical $25 copay — because your...

Jul 15, 2019

This story also ran on Vice.
This story can be republished for free (details).

Three years ago, Corey Walsh, who was in a relationship with a man who was HIV-positive, got a prescription for Truvada, a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent infection with the virus that causes AIDS.

Walsh, then 23, was covered by his parents’ health insurance policy, which picked up the cost of the drug. But the price...

Jul 12, 2019
The Friday Breeze

Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes, who reads everything on health care to compile our daily Morning Briefing, offers the best and most provocative stories for the weekend.

Happy Friday! If you want a smile after this long week, be sure to check out today’s Google Doodle. I feel like this is the right crowd to appreciate it.

Now on to what you may have missed!

The courtroom was where much of the action...

Jul 12, 2019

Medicaid provides health care to low-income people. And California is set to be the first state to offer it to immigrants younger than 26 living there without legal permission. Starting in January, California will expand eligibility to include undocumented people ages 19 through 25. The change allows them to apply for full health coverage under Medi-Cal, the state’s version of Medicaid. It’s part of a bigger plan to eventually get everyone in the state covered. California...

Jul 11, 2019

“We made parity between mental health and physical health. It was a fundamental breakthrough in how we thought about how things should work.”

Joe Biden, former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on July 8, 2019

In a sit-down interview with CNN, 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden touted the Obama administration’s passage of the...

Jul 10, 2019

When Mary Kay Gilbert saw her doctor in May for a skin infection on her leg, she wasn’t surprised to receive a prescription for an antibiotic cream.

But Gilbert, 54, a nurse and health consultant, was shocked when her physician clicked on the desktop computer and told Gilbert the medicine would cost $30 on her Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan.

“I was like, ‘Wow — that’s pretty cool that you know that information,’” she recalled telling the doctor in Edina, Minn.

Allina...

Jul 09, 2019

Premiums on California’s health insurance exchange will rise by an average of 0.8% next year, the lowest increase in the agency’s history, state officials announced Tuesday.

Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee credited two new statewide initiatives for keeping the proposed rate hikes low: Next year, California will be the first state in the country to offer state-funded tax credits to middle-class enrollees, which will be paid for in part by a new tax...

Jul 09, 2019

As California prepares to expand Medicaid coverage to young adults living in the state illegally, the number of undocumented immigrant children in the program is slowly declining, new state data show.

Unauthorized immigrant children have been eligible for Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program for low-income residents, since May 2016, and their enrollment peaked nearly a year later at 134,374, according to data from the state Department of Health Care Services....

Jul 02, 2019

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We’re doing something a little different this holiday week. Because “Medicare for All” is so much in the news, we’re rerunning an earlier explainer episode.

Special Reports

But first, KHN’s “What the Health?” host Julie Rovner talks with KHN correspondent Shefali Luthra about how health care played in the Democratic presidential candidate debates June 26 and 27.

This...

Jul 01, 2019

Reverberations from the Democratic presidential debate last week continue. One of the key issues that the candidates discussed was health care, and they had some differences in their plans, especially their views of a “Medicare for All” policy.

Julie Rovner, the chief Washington correspondent for Kaiser Health News, joined NPR’s Sarah McCammon on “Weekend Edition Saturday” to discuss the candidates’ comments on Medicare for All, health care for undocumented immigrants and the Hyde...

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