UC Medical System to Aid Obamacare

Health centers within the University of California system are being called upon to help implement policies that are part of the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

University of California health centers are beginning to participate in the health care exchange program set up by the Affordable Care Act as part of the statewide program called Covered California. The program deals with the health care exchanges within the state of California and is run by the state government in Sacramento instead of the Federal Government. Covered California is reimbursing the University of California System with grants in exchange for using UC resources to “educate and outreach efforts to encourage citizens of California to purchase health insurance.”

The goal of the exchange is to “increase the number of insured Californians, improve health care quality, lower costs, and reduce health disparities through an innovative, competitive marketplace that empowers consumers to choose the health plan and providers that give them the best value,” according to the California Health Benefits Exchange webpage (https://www.coveredca.com).

In order to achieve this goal, administrators employed the help of the UC system in their efforts to educate the populace of the health care exchanges set up in California. In May 2013, the University of California was awarded a total of $37 million for its cooperation in the program. In return, UC campuses have offered programs to encourage people to purchase health insurance from the California exchanges, according to the University of California’s website.

The arrangement will place medical centers at UC Irvine, UC San Diego, UCLA, UC Davis and UC San Francisco as part of a “tier 1 provider in the healthcare exchanges,” according to the EIN news service.

The exchange program gives customers a choice between four levels of coverage (bronze, silver, gold and platinum) with each level offering different premiums and copays for patients. These different levels of coverage must meet requirements set down by the Affordable Care Act (of which all do, as does the UC SHIP student medical plan).