CMA Optimistic as Covered California Opens
California’s Health Benefits Exchange offers access to health insurance as implementation of the Affordable Care Act moves forward.
Sacramento — As Covered California, the state’s Health Benefit Exchange, opened today, California Medical Association (CMA) physicians remain optimistic. Throughout the healthcare reform debate, CMA strongly advocated for affordable access to care for California’s uninsured and for an expansion of health insurance coverage.
“CMA has long supported access to health care for all patients,” said Paul R. Phinney, MD, CMA president. “Today marks a positive inflection point in our nation's commitment to access to healthcare for all Americans.
Five categories of plans will be available through Covered California, consisting of four metal tiers (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum) and a catastrophic plan. If offering a metal-tier health plan in Covered California, issuers also must offer the same plan at the same premium outside of the exchange marketplace.
“The opening of Covered California is an opportunity for patients who have gone without access to medical care for months, years, or even decades to see a physician” added Dr. Phinney. “There is still work to do, since access to insurance does not always guarantee access to a physician. The doctors of CMA look forward to working with Covered California to ensure that all Californians have access to the care they need and deserve."
CMA, in conjunction with the CMA Foundation, the Latino Physicians of California, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, California, was recently awarded a $1.5 million grant for outreach and education to physicians about Covered California. The focus of the grant is to educate physicians and their office staff about coverage eligibility and patient enrollment.
"We are on the ground, communicating with our member physicians and colleagues about Covered California," concluded Dr. Phinney. "We want to make sure physicians and their patients have the information they need to make the goals of Covered California a reality. As with any effort of this magnitude, there will be bumps along the road. We remain committed to the effort nonetheless, and will do our utmost to educate our partners and patients on the significance of this historic change in the delivery of healthcare."
The California Medical Association represents more than 37,000 physicians in all modes of practice and specialties. CMA is dedicated to the health of all patients in California.