July 28, 2015
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care Payor Issues and Reimbursement Public Payors
Californians insured through Covered California, the state’s health benefit exchange, will see their premiums rise an average of 4 percent in 2016, less than last year’s increase of 4.2 percent. However, consumers in some Bay Area and Sacramento counties will see higher premium increases—up to 8.2 percent in Sacramento and 12.8 percent in Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito—while Southern California counties will see increases of around 1.8 percent.
However, Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee noted that consumers can see their premiums drop an average of 4.5 percent – and up to 10 percent in some areas – if they choose their plans carefully.
The rates are preliminary until approved by regulators, but there is unlikely to be significant changes in the regional and statewide averages noted above prior to the 2016 open enrollment period.
Two new plans, United Healthcare and Oscar Health Plan of California, will be added to the Covered California menu for 2016. Coverage through United Healthcare will be available in 34 counties across the state, while Oscar Health Plan will be available to consumers in Southwest Los Angeles and Orange County.
Covered California open enrollment for 2016 begins November 1, 2015, and ends January 31, 2016. For more information on the exchange’s 2016 offerings, click here.