Bernard J. Wolfson, Kaiser Health News

Bernard J. Wolfson

Kaiser Health News

Long Beach, CA, United States

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Recent:
  • Kaiser Health News
  • LakeCountyRecordBee
  • CaliforniaHealthline
Past:
  • The Desert Sun
  • Route Fifty

Recent articles by Bernard:

Even Well-Intended Laws Can’t Protect Us From Inaccurate Provider Directories

State and federal laws require health plans to offer accurate lists of participating doctors and facilities, but consumers still struggle to get timely appointments with providers. → Read More

Even well-intended laws can’t protect us from inaccurate provider directories

If you have medical insurance, chances are you’ve been utterly exasperated at some point while trying to find an available doctor or mental health practitioner in your health plan’s network. It goe… → Read More

Even Well-Intended Laws Can’t Protect Us From Inaccurate Provider Directories

State and federal laws require health plans to offer accurate lists of participating doctors and facilities, but consumers still struggle to get timely appointments with providers. → Read More

No-Bid Medicaid Contract for Kaiser Permanente Is Now California Law, but Key Details Are Missing

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill last month that authorizes a statewide Medicaid contract for HMO giant Kaiser Permanente. But details still need to be worked out in a memorandum of under… → Read More

Computer Glitches and Human Error Still Causing Insurance Headaches for Californians

Covered California and Medi-Cal share a computer system for eligibility and enrollment. Nearly a decade since the Affordable Care Act expanded coverage options in the state, enrollees can be divert… → Read More

Computer Glitches and Human Error Still Causing Insurance Headaches for Californians

Covered California and Medi-Cal share a computer system for eligibility and enrollment. Nearly a decade since the Affordable Care Act expanded coverage options in the state, enrollees can be divert… → Read More

New Covered California Leader Urges Renewal of Enhanced Federal Aid for Health Premiums

Jessica Altman took over in March as executive director of California’s health insurance marketplace, which serves 1.8 million people. She warns that if Congress does not renew the tax credit enhan… → Read More

California Opens Medicaid to Older Unauthorized Immigrants

Starting May 1, low-income unauthorized immigrants over age 49 became eligible for full Medicaid health coverage, a significant milestone in California’s effort to expand coverage. → Read More

Battle Lines Are Drawn Over California Deal With Kaiser Permanente

A controversial proposal to grant HMO giant Kaiser Permanente a no-bid statewide Medicaid contract is headed for its first legislative hearing amid vocal opposition from a coalition of counties, co… → Read More

How a Former Catholic Priest Is Navigating a California Medicaid Plan Through Big Changes

Michael Hunn left the clergy and became a hospital and health system executive. He’s been named CEO of CalOptima, Orange County’s Medi-Cal health insurance plan for low-income residents, and his sp… → Read More

Record Fines Might Mean California Is Finally Serious About Improving Medi-Cal

California regulators issued record fines against L.A. Care, the state’s largest Medi-Cal managed-care plan, for providing inadequate care to its enrollees. But whether the penalties are a sign tha… → Read More

When Teens Blow Off Parents’ Pleas to Get Vaccinated, the Consequences Can Be Deadly

Kennedy Stonum, a 17-year-old high school junior, resisted getting vaccinated against covid-19, as did 20-year-old Tyler Gilreath, whose mother had nagged him for months to get the shots. Both died… → Read More

J&J-Vaxxed, mRNA-Boosted, and Pondering a Third Shot

Many of the nearly 17 million U.S. members of J&J Nation, myself included, are wondering whether to set aside the current official guidance and get a second booster. Some experts say: Chill out… → Read More

California Inks Sweetheart Deal With Kaiser Permanente, Jeopardizing Medicaid Reforms

The backroom deal with politically connected Kaiser Permanente, which infuriated other Medi-Cal health plans, allows the health care giant to continue selecting the enrollees it wants. → Read More

What the Federal ‘No Surprises Act’ Means in California

The new federal law will provide protection against surprise medical bills for between 6 million and 7 million Californians who are not covered under state law. → Read More

Layers of Subcontracted Services Confuse and Frustrate Medi-Cal Patients

Many of the 14 million patients in Medi-Cal are in managed care health plans that outsource their care to subcontractors or sub-subcontractors. For patients with difficult health care needs, it can… → Read More

Covered California’s Insurance Deals Range From ‘No-Brainer’ to Sticker Shock

Families of four with incomes of less than about $40,000 a year can pay no premiums and have low deductibles. For some others, health insurance in 2022 will cost more than in 2021 — in some cases, … → Read More

New California Law Eases Aid-in-Dying Process

Nearly 2,000 terminally ill Californians have used a 2015 law to end their lives with a doctor’s assistance. A revision of the law will make it easier to do so. → Read More

Your Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs Need Not Be a Mystery

A new California law requires health insurance companies to notify consumers how much remains on their deductibles and how close they are to their annual out-of-pocket spending limits. → Read More

California Law Aims to Strengthen Access to Mental Health Services

The law doesn’t take effect until July, but its passage should force insurers to expand their rosters of therapists. Here’s how you can challenge your health plan’s mental health services until the… → Read More