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Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

Takeaways From Yesterday's CC Board Meeting?

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Question: Wondered if you watched the webcast of yesterday’s Covered California Board Meeting. If so, anything we should know about.

Answer: I did but I was late tuning in. Readers should comment with takeaways of their own, particularly in the first hour or so. Anyway, Here are a few items I picked up on.

  • Quality Ratings could be included by the Exchange as early as mid-November. Kaiser is pushing for it as they look good in the data. Other carriers who don’t look so hot say no “the data is old and no longer relevant”. I believe consumers would be well served to have this information included in the decision making process, no matter how imperfect.
  • Agents may be paid for Medi-Cal sales. Peter Lee is behind it, so I’d say it’s likely at some point.
  • Single Streamline Application is 35 pages long. The Exchange says that only 3 pages need to be completed by a single applicant. Check it out. Single Streamline Application.pdf


Any update on paying agents for Medi Cal? Seems like a good number of people contacting me, qualify.

I understand Oct 1st is the deadline for actually being able to sign up on the exchange.

But I do not understand why that date had to be the same for the necessary information to be up and available on the exchange websites, or even made available publicly by any other means.

Concert tickets go on sale on a specific day. But they don’t keep the information about who is going to perform and how much the tickets are going to cost under wraps until the day of the ticket sale.

Don’t people need a bit of time to digest the information, size up the bureaucratic maze that needs to be navigated before actually taking the leap? Even if it is because of the technical issue of the website not being ready, or it being under the control of the regulator, why are the insurance companies themselves being so tight lipped about what they would be offering inside (or outside) the exchange? I would expect them to be heavily advertising with some details by now. Are they under some gag order?

The more time passes, and the complications, and the millions of distinct family specific stories are heard and concerns voiced, not to mention the business community (large and small, nationally), one can only have great worry about the ACA not in the theory of the law, certainly, but in public education, implementation, and bringing together the biggest change in health care delivery ever in this country.

As concerned as I was months ago, and wrote of it, my level of discontent with getting ACA set up nationally - which really means locally and block-by-block - is only heightened as time grows very short and politics and bad or no planning for the rollout get in the way of public policy.

Secondly, for those thinking that Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) is some wonderful fallback that by expansion will help a lot of people, I would only indicate that Medicaid is a sorry joke that, in my view, is a nationally tragedy. For in it, patients face hurdle after hurdle to get a PCP and to get basic services. Suffice to say, Medicaid is not a panacea. As tough as it is for Medicaid patients to access services and doctors now - just wait. It will get worse. You can already see it as a lot of physicians are limiting Medi-Care new patients, it is only much worse already for Medicaid patients because the reimbursement rate is so low for Medicaid patients.

So, no matter big business, small biz, familiies, singles, and poor people, it is time to both worry and fight very hard to understand where you stand in this new experiment with people’s lives and the societal change now upon us within days.

I have finished agent certification last week but there is still no official app and the CC site is down until Oct 1st. Will the printable official app be available by then? If not, will the online enrollment at least be ready by then (I can begin helping applicants with mobile wi-fi)? Thanks.

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