August 1, 2017, Sacramento, CA. Today, Covered California released its 2018 plan rates demonstrating once again the strength of California’s marketplace. The filings outline what health plans will charge consumers for monthly premiums on the exchange starting next year.
According to Covered California this morning, the average rate increase will be 12.5% with consumers able to limit that increase to just 3.3% as they search the competitive market at Covered California. The availability of tax credit subsidies will help to offset higher premium costs.
“Covered California has done a tremendous job of ensuring California’s insurance market remains stable despite federal attempts to undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the financial assistance consumers rely on,” stated Sarah de Guia, executive director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN). “As a result, all Californians including low-income and communities of color will continue to have choices and can continue to access comprehensive, affordable health care coverage for themselves and their family members in 2018,” Ms. de Guia added.
CPEHN’s Director of Policy Analysis, Cary Sanders, agreed. “Next year all 11 insurance plans will continue to sell insurance through Covered California which will allow consumers to limit rate increases to just above 3% if they search and potentially change to the lowest-cost plan in the same metal tier.”
Yet, the instability at the federal level still poses threats to affordability for consumers. On Monday President Trump renewed threats on Twitter to eliminate financial assistance for consumers by eliminating federal payments for cost-sharing reduction subsidies (CSRs) available to consumers who earn less than $30,150 a year. CPEHN calls on the federal Administration to commit to funding the CSRs which are an explicit part of the ACA. Approximately 650,000 Covered California enrollees, including many communities of color, rely on this assistance to lower their out-of-pocket costs for health care services.
“Moving forward, our national leaders must work across the aisle to reduce the cost of health care coverage and stabilize the insurance market so Californians can continue to lead healthy, prosperous lives,” stated Ms. de Guia.
CPEHN is a multicultural health policy organization dedicated to improving the health of communities of color. CPEHN’s mission is to advance health equity by advocating for sufficient resources and public policies.