Plans and rates for Obamacare announced for California

SACRAMENTO
May 23, 2013 11:10am
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•  Thirteen commercial health plans approved

•  “This is a home run for consumers in every region of California”


Thirteen health insurance plans that will offer affordable health care coverage to millions of Californians have been approved for the Affordable Care Act coverage in California.

The plans reflect a mix of large non-profit and commercial plan leaders, along with well-known Medi-Cal and regional plans, says Covered California, the name for the state’s participation in what is also called “Obamacare.”

The tentative selection of health plans is subject to a rate review by state regulators.

“It is impossible to make a direct comparison of these rates to existing premiums in the commercial market because in 2014 there will be new standard benefit designs under the Affordable Care Act, and the actual change in an individual’s premium will depend on the person’s current insurance coverage,” says Covered California.

However, Covered California believes that a frame of reference for its premiums is comparing them to the small employer market in California. Both the small employer market and Covered California are competitive markets and offer “guaranteed issue” -- applicants cannot be denied for pre-existing conditions.

The rates submitted to Covered California for the 2014 individual market ranged from 2 percent above to 29 percent below the 2013 average premium for small employer plans in California’s most populous regions, it says.

The 2014 products include doctor visits, prescriptions, hospital stays and more essential benefits.

“This is a home run for consumers in every region of California,” says Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California. “Our active negotiating will not only benefit potential enrollees to Covered California, but will benefit all Californians by making health care affordable.”

Additionally, says Covered California, there is financial protection such as a maximum out-of-pocket cost of $6,350.

"California is one step closer to realizing the promise of healthcare reform to make insurance accessible to the uninsured and underinsured," says state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "When fully operational, Covered California will provide consumers with the ability to compare products and prices and verify eligibility for federal premium subsidies for consumers who qualify."

Once rates are approved by state regulators, Covered California plans on signing final contracts and begin the work of enrolling millions of Californians in the following health plans:

• Alameda Alliance for Health

• L.A. Care Health Plan

• Anthem Blue Cross of California

• Molina Healthcare

• Blue Shield of California

• Sharp HealthCare

• Chinese Community Health Plan

• Valley Health Plan

• Contra Costa Health Services

• Ventura County Health Care Plan

• Health Net

• Western Health Advantage

• Kaiser Permanente


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