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State To Discontinue Payment Of Health Premiums

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Oakland, CA — A newspaper is reporting that the state will stop paying health insurance premiums next year for about 35,000 low-income seniors and disabled people.

The Oakland Tribune reports in today´s edition that according to a draft letter it has obtained from the California Department of Health Services, some people will have to start paying premiums of up to $70 a month for health care.

Those affected by the change qualify for both Medicare and Medi-Cal, the state´s health insurance program for the poor.

The Tribune reports that the state will stop paying the health insurance premiums because of the cost of the federal Medicare prescription drug program.

A top official with the state Department of Health Services tells the paper that the new federal drug law will force the state to pay the federal government an additional $57 million dollars next year, even though it was supposed to save the state millions of dollars.