Health care

County Health Plan Enrollment Numbers Just Short of Projections

Most people signing up under Covered California chose a big-name insurance provider, but some opted for regional health plans like the one offered through the Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System.

Valley Health Plan has managed to capture about 3 percent of the Santa Clara County market under Covered California, which is slightly below state levels. Though this figure pales in comparison to enrollment figures reported by the top four major healthcare providers, and it’s not as strong a figure as county officials expected two months away from the end-of-March enrollment deadline, it does represent a comparable market share to other small, local health plans, according to county officials.

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Getting Covered in California

President Obama’s landmark policy, the Affordable Care Act, has been successful in getting people to sign up in California. The open enrollment deadline for health care through the public exchange ends Monday, December 23. (Photo by Jaime Soja)

It’s been nearly four years since I fought on the front lines of the health care reform battle, eventually resulting in the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare). But that feels like a lifetime ago, as the landmark policy now serves as a punchline. Not long from now, though, the joke will be on the critics.

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Board of Supervisors Expected to Finalize Special Election Date

Mike Wasserman, left, and Dave Cortese both support a special election to replace George Shirakawa Jr. on the county Board of Supervisors. (Photo courtesy of

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors votes Tuesday on whether to hold a special election June 4, with a possible June 30 runoff, to replace disgraced District 2 Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. Other items on the agenda include hillside development, potential fundraisers on county property and a huge new contract for the Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System.

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Your Cholesterol Rate is $1.5 Billion

As we know, health care costs are escalating at double-digit rates. The continuous high costs are a burden to the self-insured, businesses and government. In San Jose, we have an unfunded health care liability of approximately $1.5 billion. The City of Stockton has been in the news for starting the process of bankruptcy under AB506, and much of their plight is due to the cost of health care benefits. San Jose should implement a incentive/mandatory wellness program in 2012 to reduce the cost of health care.

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