[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
60°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 19
1945 - Acton Hotel, est. 1890, burns down; arson is suspected [story]


coveredcalifornia[Sacramento, July 27] – Covered California announced its rates for 2016 and unveiled which health insurance companies will be offering plans through the marketplace. The statewide weighted average increase will be 4 percent, which is lower than last year’s increase of 4.2 percent and represents a dramatic change from the trends that individuals faced in the years before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

This means the majority of Covered California consumers will either see a decrease in their health insurance premiums or an increase of less than 5 percent if they choose to keep their current plan. In addition, consumers can reduce their premiums by an average of 4.5 percent, and more than 10 percent in some regions, if they shop around and change to a lower-cost plan within the same metal tier.

“This is another year of good news for California’s consumers and further evidence that the Affordable Care Act is working,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee. “Covered California is holding the line on rates and keeping coverage within reach of hundreds of thousands of consumers, while giving them more choices than ever before.”

California Health and Human Services Secretary and Covered California Board Chairwoman Diana S. Dooley said, “Covered California is using all the tools provided by the Affordable Care Act, including the expansion of Medi-Cal, to provide coverage and care to millions.”

Today’s announcement continues a downward trend of rate increases in California. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, annual double-digit rate increases were common in the state’s individual health insurance market. Covered California’s negotiated rates for 2014 were significantly lower than many experts predicted, and the 4.2 percent weighted average increase for 2015 was a fraction of previous historical trends. Also, since Covered California requires health insurance carriers to offer the same products at the same prices both inside and outside Covered California’s marketplace, all individuals seeking to buy health insurance benefit from these rates.

“Health care is local,” said Lee. “And as good as these average premium changes are across the state, it is important to look locally at each region. For example, in the two regions that encompass Los Angeles, the most populous regions in the state, the weighted average increase for consumers who stay in their current plan is only 1.8 percent. In addition, if they shop around, they could reduce their current costs by more than 11 percent by moving to a lower-cost plan in the same metal tier.”

The weighted average increase for Southern California consumers who stay in their current plan is also 1.8 percent, while for consumers in Northern California it is 7 percent. Consumers in Southern California can save an average of nearly 10 percent by moving to a lower-cost plan in the same metal tier, while consumers in Northern California would potentially be able to limit their rate increase to an average of 1 percent if they did the same.

Another indicator of the downward trend in premiums, which is used by some national comparisons of rate changes, is the change in the lowest-cost Bronze plan and the lowest-cost Silver plan. This is an important reference point because consumers have the ability to change carriers and plans.

Lee credited several things with helping Covered California hold the line on rate increases:

  • Covered California’s successful enrollment of more than 1.3 million active consumers resulted in a good “risk mix” and gives Covered California the negotiating power of one of California’s biggest health insurance purchasers.
  • Covered California’s 2013 decision to discontinue health plans that did not meet basic standards stabilized the market and helped create a healthier pool of enrollees.
  • Covered California used recent data analysis in its negotiations with plans to prove that our mix of young and ethnically diverse enrollees are among the healthiest in the country; health plans responded by lowering their rates.
  • In addition, the Reinsurance and Risk Adjustment programs that are part of the Affordable Care Act mean the premiums are lower in general and that health plans cannot benefit by seeking to enroll a healthier population. (For additional details on the factors that went into the rates, see the fact sheet “Covered California’s Story for 2016: Good Rates and How We Got There,” online at www.coveredca.com/news/PDFs/7-27-15-Good Rates-fact sheet.pdf.)

“The sheer numbers and overall health of our enrollees allowed us to sit down with the health insurance companies and negotiate rates downward, which will save our consumersmore than $200 million in premiums,” Lee said.

Lee noted that Covered California is an “active purchaser,” which allows it to choose which plans participate in the exchange and then negotiate the rates, networks and quality elements to get the best value for consumers. Covered California also created a standard benefit design, which establishes the services that plans must offer and creates a level playing field where health insurance companies must compete on price and quality.

“If you really want to see the potential of the Affordable Care Act, California is a good test case as a state that is using all the tools available to us,” Lee said.

Covered California also announced two new health insurance companies: Oscar Health Plan of California and UnitedHealthcare Benefits Plan of California will be joining selected regions of the California marketplace in 2016, bringing the total number of companies offering health plans through the exchange to 12.

UnitedHealthcare is the largest single health carrier in the United States, and it will be offering coverage in California in pricing regions 1, 9, 11, 12 and 13. Oscar is a new health insurance company that specializes in offering its members intuitive technology tools aimed at guiding them to better care. Oscar will offer plans in regions 16 and 18.

With the addition of the new carriers, and the expansion of its current carriers, Covered California is increasing choice and access to plans and providers. Californians in large metropolitan areas, where most of the state’s population lives, will continue to have from five to seven health insurance companies to choose from. In 2016, almost all consumers, 99.6 percent, will be able to choose from three or more carriers, and all will have at least two to choose from. This is an important improvement for consumers who live in areas that have historically had a limited choice of providers.

“We have more quality plans to choose from, which are serving more parts of the state,” said Covered California Director of Plan Management Anne Price. “We’re giving our consumers the choice of more doctors and more hospitals to ensure they can get the right care at the right time.”

In 2016, more than 90 percent of hospitals (“general acute centers” as designated by the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development) in California will be available through at least one health insurance company, and now about three-quarters (74 percent) will be available through three or more companies.

Additionally, several quality health care improvements were achieved as part of Covered California’s negotiating process. (For additional details on how health plans are improving how care is delivered, see the fact sheet “Covered California’s Story for 2016: Beyond the Rates — Promoting Quality Care,” online at www.CoveredCA.com/news/PDFs/7-27-15-Beyond the Rates-fact sheet.pdf.)

The rates submitted by the selected companies are tentative and subject to a 60-day public comment period and independent reasonability review by the state’s regulators. All 12 carriers will be reviewed by the California Department of Managed Health Care, and one carrier will also be reviewed by the California Department of Insurance. For both Oscar and UnitedHealthcare, their offerings for the 2016 plan year are contingent on both successfully obtaining their California Knox-Keene license from the Department of Managed Health Care.

Below is the complete list of the companies selected for the 2016 exchange:

  • Anthem Blue Cross of California
  • Blue Shield of California
  • Chinese Community Health Plan
  •  Health Net
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • L.A. Care Health Plan
  • Molina Healthcare
  • Oscar Health Plan of California
  • Sharp Health Plan
  • UnitedHealthcare Benefits Plan of California
  • Valley Health Plan
  • Western Health Advantage

For more details on the plans in specific pricing regions, see the booklet “Health Insurance Companies and Plan Rates for 2016,” posted online at www.CoveredCA.com/PDFs/7-27-CoveredCA-2016PlanRates-prelim.pdf.
Consumers will be able to shop around and look at their options during the upcoming renewal and open-enrollment period to decide whether to stay with their current plan or find another option that better suits their financial needs. Also, in most areas of the state, the federal subsidies given to enrollees to help reduce their overall costs will either increase or remain close to current levels and help offset any rate increase.
Covered California’s 2016 Shop and Compare Tool will be available online beginning the week of Aug. 3 at www.CoveredCA.com/shopandcompare/#calculator. Consumers will be able to look at plans and products in their area and get a preliminary estimate of costs and premium assistance for 2016 coverage.
Visit www.CoveredCA.com/news/PDFs/CoveredCA-7-27-rate-announcement-graphics.pdffor presentation materials about Covered California’s plans and rates for 2016.


About Covered California

Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses can purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

6 Comments

  1. Brought to you by the man offering “free healthcare”.

  2. I believe the word you’ve misinterpreted is “affordable”.

  3. Now that they have us they can do gotcha

  4. Ronie Rowsey Ronie Rowsey says:

    Rob the poor and give to the rich. That’s The elite for ya.
    How can they justify this knowing that MOST of the people on this stupidly planned coverage are low income or fixed income? Where did they come up with this math?
    And As our COUNCILING government claims no inflation SMH

  5. I thought it was free! In a few more years will is still be “affordable?”

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
Loading...
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Thursday, Oct 19, 2017
County, City Officials Reflect on 10-Year Anniversary of Buckweed Fires
The upcoming 10-year anniversary of the Buckweed Fires offers Santa Clarita residents a reminder of the ever-present fire danger in Los Angeles County, as blazes ravage the northern half of the state, as well.
Thursday, Oct 19, 2017
Nov. 18: Holiday Marketplace Benefiting John Phippen Family
Dreamation Craft Guild will be hosting a boutique at Canyon High School, Nov. 18, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. to benefit the family of John Phippen, the Santa Clarita resident who was killed in the Las Vegas shooting.
Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017
Woman Charged with Manslaughter, DUI in Death of Mother of 6
Alexia Cina of Canyon Country was arrested Wednesday in connection with the death of a mother of six children in a head-on crash on Golden Valley Road on October 6.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The upcoming 10-year anniversary of the Buckweed Fires offers Santa Clarita residents a reminder of the ever-present fire danger in Los Angeles County, as blazes ravage the northern half of the state, as well.
County, City Officials Reflect on 10-Year Anniversary of Buckweed Fires
Dreamation Craft Guild will be hosting a boutique at Canyon High School, Nov. 18, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. to benefit the family of John Phippen, the Santa Clarita resident who was killed in the Las Vegas shooting.
Nov. 18: Holiday Marketplace Benefiting John Phippen Family
1945 - Acton Hotel, est. 1890, burns down; arson is suspected [story]
The fall 2017 Star Party at College of the Canyons' Canyon Country campus on Friday, Oct. 27 will focus on the pathways to space exploration that exist for star-gazers who are captivated by the many mysteries of the universe.
Oct. 27: Star Party at COC Canyon Country Campus
Determined to transform the deeply troubled Los Angeles County Probation Department, the Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted unanimously to consider an independent entity that would provide guidance, oversight and accountability.
Supes Consider Entity for Probation Reform Guidance, Oversight, Accountability
Alexia Cina of Canyon Country was arrested Wednesday in connection with the death of a mother of six children in a head-on crash on Golden Valley Road on October 6.
Woman Charged with Manslaughter, DUI in Death of Mother of 6
The 22nd annual Santa Clarita Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, November 5, 2017, following the Santa Clarita Health and Fitness Expo on Saturday.
Nov. 4-5: 22nd Annual Santa Clarita Marathon Events
The Los Angeles Dodgers jumped to a 3-0 lead in the best of seven series following Tuesday night’s 6-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 3 of the NLCS at Wrigley Field.
Dodgers Out to Sweep Cubs in NLCS Game 4
The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's 2017 Medal of Valor Awards were held Tuesday in Los Angeles, and SCV Sheriff's Station Deputy Dmitry Barkon was recognized for his bravery and heroic actions.
SCV Sheriff’s Deputy Dmitry Barkon Earns Medal of Valor
Now is the time for all good college-bound high school seniors to join the 'Race to Submit' applications for FAFSA and CADAA grants to help cover college expenses.
High School Seniors: ‘Race to Submit’ is on for 2018 College Financial Aid
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies interrupted a smash-and-grab burglary on The Old Road early Friday morning, arresting one suspect and seeking two alleged accomplices still at large.
SCV Deputies Catch Window-Smash Burglars in the Act
Pukúu Cultural Community Services, founded in 1971 by members of the local Fernandeno-Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, will host its 13th Annual scholarship gala fundraiser, "Night with the Stars," in Sunland on Saturday, November 4 starting at 6 p.m.
Nov. 4: Local Tribe Honors 3, Celebrates Native American Heritage Month
California's Attorney General today filed a motion to compel the federal government to follow the law and pay the subsidies that millions of Americans rely on to lower the out-of-pocket costs in their insurance plans.
California AG Fights to Keep ACA Cost-Sharing Subsidies
Santa Clarita business owners are encouraged to take the city's broadband feasibility study online survey and participate in the next phase of the study -- in-person focus groups scheduled for October 30.
Oct. 30: Focus Groups in Next Phase of City Broadband Study
The $17 billion "California WaterFix" project reached a tipping point Tuesday after a Silicon Valley water district voted against Gov. Jerry Brown’s approach in favor of a less expensive, scaled-back version.
Silicon Valley Water Board Wants Delta Tunnels Downsized
Maryama, a band led by CalArts alumna Maryama Mirbagheri (Music MFA 17), was recently nominated for a 2017 Hollywood Music in Media Award in the World Music category.
Maryama Nominated for Hollywood Music in Media Award
The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, in response to President Trump’s recent decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, has declared Oct. 16-20 "DACA Advocacy Week."
California Community Colleges Ramp Up DACA Advocacy
COC and the Hart District will host the 2017 College & Career Fair in the college’s Honor Grove on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Oct. 21: 2017 College and Career Fair at COC
The College of the Canyons Art Gallery will showcase the work of Los Angeles-based painter Sheldon Figoten in a one-person exhibition of new paintings, “Light Fields,” opening Saturday, Oct. 28.
Oct. 28: Sheldon Figoten ‘Light Fields’ at COC Art Gallery
The Santa Clarita Artists Association held its 28th Annual Art Classic fine arts competition at William S. Hart Park's Hart Hall in Newhall on October 14.
Santa Clarita Artists Association Names Winners in 2017 Art Classic
Here is the Castaic-Val Verde Crime Information & Public Safety report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for September 25 through October 1.
Crime Blotter: Arson, Burglary, Theft in Castaic-Val Verde
California and New Mexico launched a fresh challenge Tuesday against the Trump administration’s repeal of higher royalty payments to states for oil, gas and coal leases on public lands.
California, New Mexico Challenge White House Favors to Oil, Gas, Coal
Here is the Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) Crime Information & Public Safety report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for the week of October 2 to October 8.
Crime Blotter: Burglary, Petty Theft in Stevenson Ranch
Here is the Canyon Country East (Zone 8) Crime Information and Public Safety report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for September 24 through October 8, 2017.
Crime Blotter: Vehicle Theft, Burglary in Canyon Country East
1876 - Southern Pacific begins subdividing town of Newhall (original location at Bouquet Junction) [story]
CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP), the professional producing arm of California Institute of the Arts, opens Fantômas: Revenge of the Image at Wuzhen Theatre Festival in Wuzhen, China, on Oct. 19.
Oct. 19: CalArts’ Fantomas: Revenge of the Image Premieres in China
The CSUN women's golf team fired rounds of 306-309 and is in fourth place, just eight shots off the pace at the Pat Lesser Harbottle Seattle University Invitational at the Tacoma Country and Golf Club in Tacoma, WA.
CSUN Just Eight Shots Off Pace At Washington Invitational
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Recreation, Community Services, Arts and Open Spaces Director Rick Gould announces retirement. Plus, the Board of Supervisors approve mental health care improvements. Check out these stories and more tonight on SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Tuesday, October 17, 2017
The Advanced Technology Presentation about "Careers in the Making...Design, Engineering, Fabrication and More..." in celebration of National Manufacturing Day was a huge success.
SCV Students Gain Knowledge, Advice at National Manufacturing Day
A local company is expanding its footprint in the Santa Clarita Valley to accommodate business growth and another is relocating a division of its company from Sylmar.
Accurate Freight Systems Expands, Leases Space at IAC Commerce Center
The Domestic Violence Center (DVC) of Santa Clarita Valley is accepting applications for Adopt-a-Family 2017.
DVC of SCV Currently Accepting Adopt-a-Family 2017 Applications
Major Impact Theater, founded by Jill Garson and Shawnda Davis in 2014, is a non-profit theater group that specially adapts plays for performance by adults with disabilities in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Nov. 4: Major Impact Theater Presents Blunderland
California State University, Northridge will make history on Thursday, Oct. 26, by becoming the first California State University with a Sustainability Center.
Oct. 26: CSUN to Open Sustainability Center
Registration for the Purple Walk of Strength is now open.
Oct. 21: Purple Walk of Strength to Benefit Domestic Violence Center
Raising a child is a demanding job for any parent, especially when supportive resources seem to be elusive or nonexistent.
Oct. 22: CSUN Hosts Special Needs Resource Fair