Health Officers Group Voices Concern Over Vaccine Exemption Form

California law: Health workers must sign for kids to skip vaccines

Will a separate religious exemption undermine the form’s intent? (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times) Also By Eryn Brown November 1, 2013, 3:08 p.m. Two days after the California Department of Public Health released its new form requiring parents who want to exempt their kids from required vaccinations to speak with a doctor, an association of public health officers is voicing concern over an option on the form that allows parents to easily bypass the requirement. A box parents can check allows them to skip talking to their doctor if they vouch that they’re “a member of a religion that prohibits me from seeking medical advice or treatment from authorized healthcare practitioners.” The new form is an outgrowth of the passage of AB 2109. That bill, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2012, sought to limit the number of people who chose against vaccinating their children by requiring such parents to speak with a medical provider first.
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Q&A: Explaining the Widespread Health-Plan Cancellations

Long Waits About 8.6 million people visited the federal website in the first week, and most were greeted by long waits that prevented many from registering. Department of Health and Human Services officials have said capacity is being added to the system and upgrades are being made to the software code, though as of two days ago error messages were still being displayed. Jeffrey Zients, the former Office of Management and Budget official that Obama appointed Oct. 22 to help sort out the websites troubles, has said the site will work smoothly by the end of November.
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Sticker Shock Follows Health Insurance Cancellations

Its a new market with new rules, said Karen M. Ignagni, president of Americas Health Insurance Plans, the industry trade group. New policies need to be created. Another reason is that some insurers have decided that certain plans or certain regions arent profitable.A spokesman for Cigna Corp. said that 1,500 of the insurance companys customers are having their plans canceled in locations where we have very little membership. Continuing to offer old plans in addition to new ones would also be impractical for insurers, according to Paula Wilson, a broker in Temecula, Calif. An insurance company would have to retool its entire [information-technology] system to comply with the law.
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Health Site Flaws Test Democrats’ Unity as Attacks Rise

Sebelius on Hearing in a Minute

It’s unclear how many individual plans are being canceled – no one agency keeps track. But it’s likely in the millions. Insurance industry experts estimate that about 14 million people, or 5 percent of the total market for health care coverage, buy individual policies. Most people get coverage through jobs and aren’t affected. Many states require insurers to give consumers 90 days’ notice before canceling plans. That means another round of cancellation letters will go out in March and again in May.
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