California health premiums to rise an average 12.5 percent – California News

California health premiums to rise an average 12.5 percent – California News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Monthly premiums for California health insurance plans sold under former President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul will rise by an average of 12.5 percent next year, officials said Tuesday.
A major insurance carrier will also stop offering the plans in most of the state, forcing about 10 percent of people insured through Covered California to buy a new plan. Anthem Blue Cross will continue offering plans only in Santa Clara County and parts of Northern California and the Central Valley.
Covered California’s announcement on 2018 pricing comes at a time of extreme uncertainty about the future of the U.S. health care system. A Republican plan to unwind key pieces of the Affordable Care Act failed in the U.S. Senate last week, but President Donald Trump has repeatedly urged lawmakers to keep working on it. Trump has threatened to end payments that insurance companies receive to keep down out-of-pocket costs for lower-income consumers.
Premiums for consumers on "silver tier" plans, the most popular, could spike even more if those subsidies are taken away, officials said.
The average 12.5 percent increase is down just slightly from last year, when premiums rose by more than 13 percent. Consumers could lower their increase to about 3 percent if they switch to the lowest-priced plans, officials said. Insurance plans for next year will be available for purchase in California between Nov. 1 and Jan 31.
Covered California sells health plans to about 1.4 million people who don’t get coverage from an employer or from the two large government-funded programs, Medicare and Medi-Cal. The exchange is a central piece of Obama’s health insurance overhaul,…

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