health-insurance-consultationOn August 1, Covered California announced the new health insurance rates for 2018. Compared to other states in the United States, California is considered to be pretty lucky for its premiums and selections!

Taking into account the price, options, and benefits, let’s take a look at what would happen to your current health insurance!

Costs

  • On August 1, Covered CA announced that health insurance rates will increase at an average of 12.5%. This change is lower than 2017’s 13.2% increase.
  • Silver plan users may be dealing with an 8% – 27% increase in premium as the federal government has not yet decided how much cost-sharing reduction will be subsidized.
  • Different plans will deal with different increases and decreases. Experts emphasize that by reshopping, the insured can limit their premium rate increase to within 3.3% with the same coverage.

Let’s take a look at the percentage increase of three major insurance companies in Southern California in 2018: 

In 2017, Molina had a very well-known and inexpensive insurance plan and as a result, it was very popular among many new policyholders. However, under the current health law, the government strictly restricted the amount of profit an insurance company can gain, forcing Molina to give 70 million of their profit to Covered California, and as a result, left Molina with no choice but to increase their premium.

20% of policyholders in Southern California have the Blue Shield PPO plan. The premium increase is around 18% this year. However, there’s also an annual age growth related increase which is added automatically on top of the 18%, totaling to about 20%.

The only five-star hospital in Covered California with the best customer service. Although the premiums from the past year were not the lowest, the cost is pretty stable, increasing only 8%-10% this year.

Options

  • There are 11 health insurance companies that were active in 2017 and will continue to stay available in California in 2018. These include Anthem, Blue Shield, CCHP, Health Net of CA, Health Net Life, Kaiser Permanente, LA Care, Molina Healthcare, Oscar, Sharp Health Plan, Valley Health Plan, Western Health Advantage.
  • If you are insured under Anthem Blue Cross, pay special attention! In 2018, they are withdrawing from 16 of California’s 19 pricing regions and only remaining in three regions—region 1 (Redding County), region 7 (Santa Clara County), and region 10 (Stockton/Modesto County). For those who do not live in these three regions, it’s important to start preparing for the Open Enrollment period that starts on November 1st! But no worries, your current existing plan is still effective until the end of 2017. For those that had purchased grandfathered plans under Blue Cross since March 23, 2010, you will not be affected by these withdrawals.
  • Open Enrollment period is from November 1, 2017 to January 31, 2018, so you still have three months to plan out any changes you want to make.

Benefits

In 2018, many benefits have become even better! The ones that stand out the most are the annual out-of-pocket maximum, outpatient costs and medication costs—they’ve been reduced!

  • In the Silver 94 plan, the copay for seeing a doctor is $5, a specialist is $8, and the annual out-of-pocket- maximum has reduced from $2,350 to $1,000, which means that after you reach $1,000, you won’t need to worry about medical expenses anymore.
  • For Gold plans, the annual deductible is decreasing from $6,750 to $6,000. The cost of emergency care and doctor visits will also be reduced.
  • For Platinum plans, the annual deductible is decreasing from $4,000 to $3,350. The cost for specialist visits and outpatient services will also be reduced.

To prepare for the upcoming Open Enrollment period in November, add our official KCAL WeChat account KCAL3331111, where we update you with the latest news on health insurance, great offers on plans, and any discounts and good deals!