Covered California’s Announcement Great News for Californians
uly 31, 2014 – Sacramento CA. Covered California ‘s announcement of a single-digit increase across all carriers in the healthcare exchange marketplace for individuals and families is great news for Californians. According to Brad Davis, CEBS, Immediate Past President for the Sacramento AHU Chapter; “Today’s rate announcement by Covered California is just a small victory in the larger battle at hand. It’s important to remember that the new individual and family health plans have not been in place long enough to give us any good data as to the true cost of the insurance. The good news is that the low premium increase seems to indicate that our health insurance carriers support the “exchange” model and want to continue to do business with Covered California as a distribution channel.”
Cerrina Jensen, Sacramento Association of Health Underwriters’ President, says, “Interestingly, for our Sacramento region, the Anthem Blue Cross HMO rates essentially skyrocketed. As benefits plan specialists, our members would always recommend careful analysis of the basis for these variations before jumping to conclusions.”
The Covered California rate variability exhibits exactly why the Proposition 45 rate regulation initiative on the upcoming ballot would seriously undermine all of the good work that our State has done to lead the way with the ACA. Californians will be hearing much rhetoric regarding medical insurance premium rates in the coming months. Association of Health Underwriters experts across our state agree that rate regulation is already built into the ACA in the form of a medical loss ratio that requires carriers to refund any premium in excess of a certain threshold. Therefore, covered individual and family members are served by the insurance carriers’ best interest that is to keep premiums low. SAHU believes the language in Proposition 45 could actually lead to excessive litigation and unnecessary bottlenecks that will possibly lead to higher premiums and less doctors accepting the plans. A vicious cycle leading to the destruction of Covered California could be the result, and the robust marketplace we have today could be damaged.