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Some Still Struggling to Afford Affordable Care

April 23, 2014

Some Still Struggling to Afford Affordable Care

By Pamela K. Johnson

Chanee Houston has decided to take her chances. As the open enrollment period for health insurance under Covered California closed this month, the 26-year-old remained uninsured.

The Irvine resident had considered purchasing a plan through the state’s marketplace, “but even with the financial aid they give you, it’s still kind of expensive,” she said.

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Clinics Wait For More Patients in Obamacare Wake

April 14, 2014

Clinics Wait For More Patients in Obamacare Wake

By Genevieve Bookwalter

St. James Health Center is ready for the onslaught.

The community health clinic, one of the busiest in San Jose, sits on the corner of 2nd and Julian streets near downtown. Doctors, dentists, pharmacists and other health-care providers here treat some of the poorest patients in Santa Clara County — patients whom many expect to have newly-minted health insurance this year as the federal Affordable Care Act kicks in.

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The Waiting Room: L.A. County’s Medi-Cal Backlog

April 9, 2014

The Waiting Room: L.A. County’s Medi-Cal Backlog

By Jessica Portner

As the deluge of applications for Medi-Cal through continues to flood into Covered California, local health advocacy groups and providers throughout Los Angeles County say the sizable enrollment backlog is delaying health care services for needy residents.

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Future Uncertain for California’s Uninsured Kids

April 2, 2014

Future Uncertain for California’s Uninsured Kids

Thousands still won’t have coverage after Affordable Care Act

By Natalie Jones

The Camacho family has six children, none of whom have health insurance.

The Sacramento residents emigrated from Mexico about 13 years ago, staying without legal papers. They are among the estimated 2.6 million undocumented California residents who will largely be left out of health-care reform.

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Charitable Program Helps to Fill the Dental Care Gap

April 1, 2014

Charitable Program Helps to Fill the Dental Care Gap

By Lily Dayton

When the first storm of the season hit California’s Central Coast, the rain was no deterrent to the more than 300 people who showed up at Blanco Circle Dental Care in Salinas, seeking free treatment. They starting arriving the night before—some sleeping in cars, some sleeping in tents—waiting out the frigid February downpour in hopes of getting their teeth fixed.

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Medi-Cal Doctors Have Yet to See Pay Boost Required by Obamacare

March 31, 2014

Medi-Cal Doctors Have Yet to See Pay Boost Required by Obamacare

State, managed-care plans slow to distribute funds, hurting low-income residents 

By Hannah Guzik

Everyday George Ma waits for the money the state owes him.

The internist, who sees some of Los Angeles’ most destitute residents and receives meager reimbursement, was supposed to get a pay boost beginning in January 2013 as part of the Affordable Care Act.

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Insurers continue to charge patients after out-of-pocket maximums reached, advocates say

March 27, 2014

Insurers continue to charge patients after out-of-pocket maximums reached, advocates say

By Claudia Boyd-Barrett

With three part-time jobs, a 14-month-old son with Down syndrome and two other children with autism, Lisa Carey has plenty to keep her busy.

So when the Los Angeles mother began receiving bills last year from her health insurance company asking her to pay more than she believed the policy called for, it was a hassle she could do without.

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Virtual Dentistry Could Bring Better Care to Underserved

March 27, 2014

Virtual Dentistry Could Bring Better Care to Underserved

By Callie Shanafelt

Doctor Paul Glassman has spent his 40-year dentistry career looking for ways to make going to the dentist more affordable and accessible.  As technology has evolved, so have his strategies. Glassman and his team at the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry think they’ve found a way to serve millions more clients through virtual dentistry. The only problem is that current laws don’t allow it.

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Medicare Extends Mental Health Benefits; Patients Find Doctor Shortage

March 26, 2014

Medicare Extends Mental Health Benefits; Patients Find Doctor Shortage

By Alisha Wyman

Medicare coverage for outpatient mental health care is now in line with medical coverage, thanks to a law that closed the gap as of Jan. 1.

Experts say it’s a step in dispelling long-standing disparities between the two, but the change addresses only one of many hurdles in providing seniors with adequate mental health care.

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Homeless Are Hesitant to Use Medi-Cal

March 19, 2014

Homeless Are Hesitant to Use Medi-Cal

By Lisa Renner

Some homeless people have trouble understanding the Medi-Cal enrollment process or providing the needed paperwork. Others would just rather be around other homeless people. Because of their hard life on the streets, they don’t always feel comfortable in more traditional settings.

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