Late last week CoveredCA, California’s state-based health insurance exchange, announced its 2015 rate increase and carriers via press release on their homepage. You as the consumer likely have many questions. Is my health insurance rate increasing? Are we getting any new carriers on the CoveredCA exchange? In short, not much will change in 2015. First, the carriers. In 2015, the carriers that will be offered through the CoveredCA exchange will be:
- Anthem Blue Cross of California.
- Blue Shield of California.
- Chinese Community Health Plan.
- Health Net.
- Kaiser Permanente.
- L.A. Care Health Plan.
- Molina Healthcare.
- Sharp Health Plan.
- Valley Health Plan.
- Western Health Advantage.
The most noticeable thing about the list is that it is exactly the same as last year’s list, with the exception of Contra Costa Health Plan which has removed itself. The action was mutually agreed upon by both carrier and exchange. Of the remaining carriers, the vast majority of the business went to the top 4- Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Health Net, and Kaiser Permanente. The remaining carriers are regionally based without a statewide offering, often limited to HMO networks. The report of the rate increase was given as a statewide weighted average of 4.2%. This is described by CoveredCA as “a blended rate that considers both the increase or decrease in rate and the number of consumers who will receive that rate change.” Each carrier therefore has its own average increase, and each policy within each plan within each rating region will reflect a different increase (or decrease) percentage. Because of this, shopping your current plan is extremely important. While your plan may have experienced a certain increase, there’s a decent chance you may be able to do better elsewhere. Keep in mind this is the increase in the overall plan cost, not necessarily what a consumer will actually pay. Over 85 percent of exchange members receive some kind of subsidy, and based on how subsidies are determined there is a good chance that even if your premium goes up your subsidy may also rise to compensate for the increased premium. It’s important to recalculate what your actual paid portion is going to be rather than just what the overall premium- to which CoveredCA contributes a percentage- for 2015 is going to look like. In the same release, CoveredCA stressed that customer feedback has caused some carriers to reconsider their networks and add physicians to broaden their appeal and service more patients in a better fashion. 2015 open enrollment begins November 15th, 2014, however you can already compare plans and rates right now. Contact us at Quotebroker at 800-783-0802 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free five minute quote.