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Revamping of health insurance in California picks up speed

Friday, November 9th, 2012

The election of Barack Obama as the President has removed many roadblocks that existed for the implementation of health care reforms in California. Propelled by the victory, the state government officials in the state of California are taking big steps to implement the reforms to bring about a change in the insurance market to help millions of residents in this state.

Mitt Romney, who pursued Obama at the heels till the last minute, threatened the implementation of the Affordable Care Act which aims to use the huge amount of money provided by the federal government to offer coverage to over seven million uninsured people in this state. On Wednesday, the state officials revealed their plans to spend close to $90 million in the following year towards marketing and reaching out to millions of Californians who may gain eligibility for subsidised premiums, in addition to many other benefits that fall under the federal regulations.

California Health Benefit Exchange’s executive director, Peter Lee, said that the recently completed election eliminated the final roadblock to the implementation of the reforms which is being designed with the objective of providing insurance to the millions in the state who do not have it.

When the Affordable Care Act was passed by the Congress in the year 2010, California was the first state in the country to establish the insurance exchange program. However, as the race for the election heated up, the states which enjoyed the Republican majority opposed to these reforms. The insurance exchange in California is working with the aim of enrolling a little over two million people in the Medicaid program led by the state which is termed as Medi-Cal. This program provided insurance coverage to the disabled and poor Californians. It also aims to help another set of two million people buy private insurance policies that offer subsidized premiums.

Consumer advocates as well as state leaders are apprehensive about the feasibility of this program and wonder if this program will attract the expected enrolments from healthier consumers which is essential to keep the policies affordable. The president of the health consulting firm El Segundo, Steve Valentine said opines that this insurance exchange program would be tougher to sell than he had originally thought.

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