Covered California recently announced the individual health insurance rates and benefits for 2019. There was an average rate increase of 8.7%, which is an estimated 10% increase from last year. For middle and upper classes, many do not qualify for subsidies, forcing them to have to pay the premium in full. There was also an increase in PPO plans, with the premiums likely to reach the thousands by next year.

It is confirmed that if you apply for health insurance through Covered California, you can receive subsidies for families and individuals whose income meets the 2019 standards/requirements, making the premium increase not as obvious. It is still possible to purchase a plan for less than $100 a month. However, the actual subsidies each individual will receive and the premium cost will not be released until October 2018.

Under Trump’s healthcare reform, there will be no penalties for not having health insurance in 2019. The open enrollment period for 2019 health insurance is from October 15, 2018 to January 15, 2019. If you miss this chance and do not enroll into health insurance during this time, then you will not be able to enroll into health insurance until the next open enrollment period. If you apply by December 15, 2018, then your insurance will become effective on January 1, 2019.

There has been no changes made to the Silver 94 plan, however many other plan benefits have changed, and some have even become worse.

The most noticeable changes are for Bronze 60 and Silver 70. For example, the annual out-of-pocket maximum for Bronze 60 is increasing from $7,000/individual and $14,000/family to $7,550/individual and $15,100/family. For the Silver 70 plan, the copay for a doctor’s visit is increasing from $35 to $40, the copay to see a specialist is increasing from $75 to $80, and the deductible for prescription drugs is increasing from $130 to $200 for individuals, and $260 to $400 for families.

Health insurance professionals at KCAL would like to remind you that although you may not get penalized for not having health insurance in 2019, cancelling your health insurance or not having health insurance can actually result in huge medical bills and possibly lead to medical debt.

Want to save on your health insurance premiums next year? Health insurance experts at KCAL suggest two options!

1) When open enrollment period begins on October 15, make sure to compare various plans and costs. Several insurance companies offer lower costs, and benefits vary among plans. Another thing to consider is switching from PPO to HMO, or switching a lower tier.

2) For business owners, you can consider enrolling into a group health insurance plan for your company. For employees, if your company offers health insurance, you can look into that too. The copay for a 2019 Silver plan in the individual and family health insurance market for a doctor’s visit is $40, and to see a specialist would $80. If you have a company group health insurance plan, seeing a doctor would only cost $20, and a specialist would be $45. You can even save up to thousands on premiums depending on which area you reside in.

KCAL Insurance Agency is a one-stop shop for all insurance services to meet your insurance needs. Talk to a certified Covered California agent at KCAL now to get all your health insurance questions and concerns addressed!