That means premiums will actually drop slightly for some local consumers. Covered
"These regional rates confirm once again that health care is local and personal. It also affirms that the overall story is a good one for consumers across
While the rate change in
Rates will decline, on average, for residents of four pricing regions -- the 22 Northern Counties; the
In three pricing areas -- southwest
Some shoppers, Wright said, might also take advantage of the opportunity to select a silver-tier health plan with lower deductibles rather than keep the higher-deductible bronze plan they chose last year to save money. Health insurance sold through Covered California and on the individual market are sold in four levels of coverage: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. As the metal category increases in value, the size of co-pays and deductibles declines.
"In our high-cost-of-living state, at least a third of Californians were choosing 'bronze' high-deductible plans with little coverage in order to afford premiums," said Wright, executive director of Health Access California. "Thanks to the investments in this year's state budget and other state actions to safeguard us from the
Earlier this year, the
For instance, Covered California noted that a 62-year-old
About 23,000 Californians whose annual income is just 138 percent of the federal poverty level --
"This first-in-the-nation program will make coverage more affordable for many middle-income Californians, such as small-businesses owners, entrepreneurs, contractors or workers in the gig economy," Lee stated in the news release. "Every consumer is different, and even without the new state subsidies in place yet, many will see their premiums go down in 2020."
The changes in law also spurred three insurers to expand the areas they cover.
Health Net PPO said its rates will increase by 4.5 percent. Kaiser said its members could see rate cuts as high as 5.4 percent and rate increases of 6.8 percent, but on average, its premiums would go up by 0.9 percent. Consumers in the Western Health HMO could see their rates drop by as much as 3.8 percent or increase by as much as 9 percent. On average, it estimated a 4 percent rate increase.
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