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As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

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Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

CA Health-Insurance Open Enrollment Starts in Two Weeks

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Monday, October 17, 2022   

This year's open enrollment period for health insurance is right around the corner, starting Nov. 1, and some employer-based health plans start their open enrollment even earlier.

People looking for insurance on the individual market can go to the Covered California website, CoveredCA.com.

James Scullary, a spokesperson for the state's health insurance marketplace, said people might be surprised by the choices they find.

"Many consumers are finding out that if they weren't eligible before, now they are. Or if they got a small subsidy a few years ago, that's increased, so coverage may be more affordable than they thought." Scullary said. "So really, regardless of your income, check out your options and see whether or not you can lower your monthly premiums."

In California, the projected average premium for 2022 was $581 a month, a 1.8% increase over 2021, according to acasignups.net. But almost 90% of people who get their health insurance through CoveredCA get subsidies to bring down their monthly bill. The subsidies began with the Biden administration's American Rescue Plan, and the new Inflation Reduction Act has extended them for another three years.

Dr. Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer at UnitedHealthcare, encourages people to consider their families' unique needs when choosing a plan.

"Some things to consider are prescription drug benefits, mental health coverage, specialty benefits: things like dental, vision, hearing, critical illness insurance, and wellness programs," Randall outlined.

This year, 13 insurers are participating in the Covered California exchange, which means people in all the state's 58 counties will have a choice of at least two plans, and 81% of residents will be able to choose from four or more plans.

Disclosure: United Healthcare contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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House Bill passed with an overwhelming vote of 94-6, with three abstentions. Its companion, Senate Bill 159, passed unanimously with a vote of 34-0. (Chad Robertson/Adobe Stock)

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