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California bill bars insurers from declining fire coverage

Feb. 18, 2020 7:59 PM EST

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Amid mounting cries of California homeowners being denied wildfire insurance in high-risk areas, lawmakers want to require insurance companies to cover all existing homes, as long as they meet new safety standards. The measure, coming after years of deadly fires causing insurers...

FILE - In this March 31, 2014 file photo Keith Saunders, left, a certified Cover California insurance agent, explains a health insurance plan to Mark Tammes at a registration site in Sacramento, Calif. More than 1.5 million people in California have purchased health insurance through the taxpayer funded marketplace, Covered California, state officials announced, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. It is the first increase in enrollment after three years of decline. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

Following gain, California to reopen health coverage signups

Feb. 18, 2020 4:26 PM EST

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — More than 1.5 million people in California have purchased health insurance through a taxpayer funded marketplace, state officials announced Tuesday, the first increase in enrollment after three years of decline. It's a 1.6% increase over last year, a jump that comes after the...

Record numbers enroll in Massachusetts Health Connector

Feb. 16, 2020 10:07 AM EST

Boston (AP) — A record number of residents have enrolled in the Massachusetts Health Connector during the open enrollment period. Officials said more than 312,000 people now have access to affordable health care through the connector. Officials credited the high number with the fact that 91% of 2019...

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2020, file photo, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks to reporters in Little Rock, Ark. A federal appeals court panel in Washington has upheld a lower court's decision that blocked the Trump administration's work requirements for Medicaid recipients. The Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, decision from a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., found Arkansas' work requirements for Medicaid recipients to be

Appeals court deals blow to Trump's Medicaid work rules

Feb. 14, 2020 4:24 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration's effort to remake Medicaid by requiring low-income people to work for health care suffered a serious setback Friday when a federal appeals court ruled it goes beyond what's allowed by law. The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals...

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2020, file photo, a worker walks among beds in a convention center that has been converted into a temporary hospital in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province. The virus outbreak that began in China and has spread to more than 20 countries is stretching already-strained public health systems in Asia and beyond, raising questions over whether everyone can get equal access to treatment. (Chinatopix via AP, File)

Virus stretches limits of strained public health systems

Feb. 10, 2020 9:14 PM EST

BANGKOK (AP) — The virus outbreak that began in China and has spread to more than 20 countries is stretching already-strained public health systems in Asia and beyond, raising questions over whether everyone can get equal access to treatment. Authorities in Wuhan, the city at the center of the outbreak,...

In this Jan. 31, 2020, photo, Ann Lovell carries her box of prescriptions after returning to Salt Lake City International Airport following her visit to Tijuana, Mexico. Lovell travels every few months to Tijuana, Mexico, to buy medication for rheumatoid arthritis with tickets paid for by the state of Utah's public insurer. Lovell is one of about 10 state workers participating in a year-old program to lower prescription drug costs by having public employees buy their medication in Mexico at a steep discount compared to U.S. prices. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Utah sends employees to Mexico for lower prescription prices

Feb. 9, 2020 10:57 AM EST

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Ann Lovell had never owned a passport before last year. Now, the 62-year-old teacher is a frequent flier, traveling every few months to Tijuana, Mexico, to buy medication for rheumatoid arthritis — with tickets paid for by the state of Utah’s public insurer. Lovell is...

Bill seeks parity between care for mental, physical ailments

Feb. 6, 2020 5:19 PM EST

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate unveiled a sweeping bill Thursday aimed at making good on the state's long-held pledge to provide mental health care on a par with care for physical ailments like heart disease or a broken leg. Supporters say the bill would help remove barriers to timely care, provide...

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2017 file photo, Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, speaks during a news conference in Newark, N.J.  Governors of both parties are warning that a little-noticed regulation proposed by the Trump administration could lead to big cuts in Medicaid, restricting their ability to pay for health care for low-income Americans. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Governors warn Trump rule could lead to big Medicaid cuts

Feb. 6, 2020 6:54 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Governors of both major political parties are warning that a little-noticed regulation proposed by President Donald Trump's administration could lead to big cuts in Medicaid, reducing access to health care for low-income Americans. The arcane fiscal accountability rule proposed by the...

Committee approves bill barring pelvic exams without consent

Feb. 5, 2020 3:37 PM EST

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Maine legislative committee has approved a proposal designed to protect patients from non-consensual pelvic exams. The Maine Legislature's Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services approved the proposal by Democratic Rep. Vicki Doudera of Camden on Tuesday. She...

Editorial Roundup: North Carolina

Feb. 5, 2020 1:54 PM EST

Recent editorials from North Carolina newspapers: ___ Jan. 31 The Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer of Raleigh on the state's rate of black infant mortality: State programs and efforts by private organizations have reduced North Carolina’s infant mortality rate to its lowest ever, but the...