California Coronavirus Updates: Buying Health Insurance During Open Enrollment Period? Here are some tips to help you.

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Find an updated tally of COVID-19 cases in California and by county on our tracker here.

Monday November 1

11:18 am: Shopping for health insurance during the open enrollment period? Here are some tips to help you.

It is important to have health insurance, especially during a pandemic. Jackie Fortier from KPCC reports that there is a big change in most health care coverage that you should now watch out for when shopping for a new plan during open enrollment.

At the start of the pandemic, some insurers chose not to bill COVID-19 patients for expensive hospital stays and therapy, and a few have maintained this policy as long as the public health emergency is in place.

However, most are quietly resuming their usual activities. Since insurance companies have voluntarily waived these costs, they can decide when to reinstate them.

You will need to check the policy for each plan you are considering to see how treatment for COVID-19 is covered. You can also get free COVID-19 injections or boosters if you are eligible.

People who are vaccinated are five times less likely to be infected and ten times less likely to get sick enough to end up in the hospital.

9:55 am: US prisons face staff shortage due to COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the labor market have pushed many prison staff systems into crisis, according to the Associated press.

Correctional officers are retiring and resigning en masse, while states are struggling to recruit new staff. Unions representing prison officers in states, including California and at the federal level, say vaccination mandates will drive out unvaccinated employees and exacerbate understaffing, though the impact of these rules is unclear.

Staff shortages have long been a challenge for prison agencies.

“There are dozens of reasons to leave and very few to stay,” said Brian Dawe, national director of One Voice United, a nonprofit that supports correctional officers. “Under-staffed, mediocre wages, mediocre benefits, appalling working conditions. … Officers and their families in many jurisdictions have had enough.

And some prisons whose populations fell during the pandemic have seen their numbers rise again, compounding the problem.

Meanwhile, incarcerated people are unable to see family members or take a shower due to the lack of correctional officers. Counseling and other programs have also disappeared.

9:52 am: Total number of COVID-19 deaths worldwide exceeds 5 million

The worldwide death toll from COVID-19 has passed 5 million, almost two years after the start of a crisis that has devastated not only developing countries but also humiliated the rich with world-class health systems order.

According to the Associated Press, the combined totals of the United States, European Union, Britain and Brazil represent one-eighth of the world’s population, but almost half of all reported deaths.

The United States alone has recorded more than 745,000 lives lost, more than any other country. This staggering figure is almost certainly an undercoverage due to the limited number of tests and the number of people who have died at home without medical care, especially in poorer parts of the world.

Find old coronavirus updates on our previous blog page here.


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