Slight increase for Covered California health premiums

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Covered California announced new premiums for 2015. “The vast majority of Covered California consumers will see low increases in their health insurance premiums for 2015, and many consumers will see no increase or even a decrease,” said a recent press release.

Consumers will have a choice of 10 health insurers for 2015. Open Season begins Nov. 15 and plans take effect Jan. 1, 2015.

An average increase for policies in Riverside and San Bernardino counties is 4.5 percent. The largest average premium increase is 8 percent for both Anthem (preferred provider organization) and Health Net (exclusive provider organization) plans, which covered 13.9 percent of the enrollees. Kaiser Permanente plans declined 1 percent, ranging from a 7 to 1 percent decrease.

The insurance companies and rates are preliminary because they are subject to independent review to determine if the rates are reasonable and state review of other regulatory standards. After the reviews, which should be completed by the end of August, Covered California will announce the final selections and rates.

All insurers submitted bids for products that include children’s dental plans, making it convenient and affordable for families to get dental care for their children. In response to customer feedback, some health insurance plans will offer expanded provider networks so Californians may choose from a wider selection of doctors, Covered California said.

According to Covered California, nearly 123,000 individuals in this region chose its coverage this year and 90 percent received premium assistance. During Covered California’s first open-enrollment period, from October 2013 through March 2014, nearly 1.4 million Californians enrolled in coverage through Covered California, of which more than 1.2 million were eligible for premium assistance to help pay for health care coverage. Another 1.9 million Californians qualified for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal coverage.

In most areas of the state, the amount of subsidy individuals receive will either increase or remain very close to 2014 subsidy amounts. This means that for many consumers, any increase in premium will be offset by an increase in subsidy.

 

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