Health Insurance Going Up


Why Some Are Seeing Premiums Go Up As Affordable Care Act Goes Into Effect

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

In late September, Peter Lee, the executive director of Covered California — the state’s health insurance marketplace — was a guest on KQED’s Forum. It was just days until the Oct. 1 opening of the exchange. Lee touted the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, saying that many people would pay less for health insurance, but he cautioned that for some people, “rates may go up a little bit.”

Pretty soon Mark Brown of San Jose called the show to say his premiums were going up — and much more than a little bit. Brown, who buys health insurance for himself and his wife, said his premiums were going up a whopping 90 percent.

When I heard Brown on the air, I hurried to the control room to get his phone number and later got his full details:

  • In 2013, Brown’s plan with Kaiser has a $5,000 deductible and a $6,000 out-of-pocket maximum. It costs him $272 a month.
  • In 2014, Kaiser offered him a plan with a $4,500 deductible and a $6,350 out-of-pocket max. But the premium is $519 a month.

It’s very similar coverage for almost double the cost. Continue reading