As a 50-something, self-employed California resident repeatedly denied health insurance through the private market, I was looking forward to getting covered by the Affordable Care Act. Well, it looks like I have accomplished that, and I will have better, more secure coverage at a lower price than I ever could have found otherwise. But getting there wasn’t easy.
Author: Herbert Sample
In 1966, one year after the Watts Riots illuminated the scarcity of health care services in South Los Angeles, 25-year-old Leonard Deadwyler lay mortally wounded in his car, shot by a police officer who insisted Deadwyler was drunk instead of what he was: A husband rushing his pregnant wife to a hospital some 20 miles away. Los Angeles County leaders reacted to the riots and Deadwyler’s passing by building what became known as Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, a full-scale teaching hospital, complete with trauma center, which opened in 1972.
Ah, health insurance. It can be aggravating when you have it, and it sure can be aggravating when you don’t. And the wizards behind the curtains at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the state Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board and a private company whose motto is “Helping Government Serve the People” aren’t making it easier as the start date for “Obamacare” grows closer.
The innovative Amputation Prevention Center in Van Nuys uses a team approach and some novel procedures to save the limbs of people who would otherwise be headed for amputations. The center could be a model for advances that would keep more older adults living independently.
A middle-aged, self-employed man tries to find health insurance as an individual but learns, the hard way, that insurance companies don’t want to cover anyone who might actually need their benefits. Among other things, the application process includes a discussion about the sex-related aspects of his medical history. See Herbert Sample’s first-person account here.
As California’s population continues to age, state officials are urging residents to do something human beings frequently find agonizing: Plan for that time in their twilight years when they may need assistance getting out of bed, visiting the bathroom and dressing themselves. That’s the impetus behind the five-month-old website www.RUReadyCA.org, which is managed by the California Partnership for Long-Term Care, a joint venture of the state Department of Health Care Services and a trio of insurance companies that sell long-term care policies in the state.
On the eve of a hearing in federal court, California officials and advocates for disabled and low-income seniors have agreed to a brief delay in the elimination of the state Adult Day Health Care program while a replacement service can be implemented.
Now that the Obama Administration’s effort to offer government-sponsored, long-term health care insurance has crashed, it’s unclear whether any viable path exists to prod more Americans into recognizing the need for such coverage – and to buy it — as they grow older and more prone to debilitating illnesses.
For the second time in as many months, a survey of Californians has found they are more aware than ever of the potential need for long-term health care in the future. But, paradoxically, fewer are taking steps to prepare for that costly possibility.
As the U.S. population ages in the coming decades, the need for some sort of insurance to cover long-term health care expenses – such as in-home support services – will also rise. With this in mind, Congress and the Obama Administration last year included in the controversial health care reform act a little-discussed provision to implement a government-run long-term health care insurance program known as CLASS in October 2012.