The state’s health insurance exchange, Covered California, announced Thursday morning the plans and premiums that will be available to people statewide to millions of Californians.
And what everyone wants to know is: how much will it cost. Experts had warned of “rate shock,” that premiums might skyrocket for all kinds of reasons. That has not happened.
Covered California says that individuals will pay an average premium of $321 per month for a “silver” plan. (More on silver plans below.) Many people will be eligible for subsidies to reduce that cost further.
Across the state, people who had been working toward this day seemed to heave a collective sigh of relief.
“This is a home run for consumers in every region of California,” said Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, in a release to reporters. “Californians should be proud of how not only health plans in this state, but doctors, medical groups and hospitals have stepped up — creating a market that will allow millions of consumers to enroll in affordably priced products.”
The plans on the exchange are required to offer a standard set of comprehensive benefits. It’s hard to compare premiums next year to what’s in place this year, since there is no standard set of benefits at present. Covered California chose as the best comparison the average premium for a small business plan. The rates in Covered California range from 2 percent above to 29 percent below that benchmark. Continue reading