Covered Cal sign-ups rise 23%

Halfway through the first month of open enrollment, Covered California reports more than 48,000 new consumers have signed up for health insurance via the marketplace. For the period Nov. 1 through Nov. 15, sign-ups are outrunning figures from a year ago, in which 39,000 new consumers enrolled. That's an increase of about 23 percent. Peter Lee, executive director of the state Obamacare operation said: "While we are encouraged by ... (More)

12.4% surcharge on silver plans

Covered California's popular silver-tier products will see a 12.4 percent surcharge in 2018, the state health insurance exchange said. California's insurance commissioner pointed the finger at the Trump administration. "Thanks to President Trump's and congressional Republicans' inaction, the 2018 health insurance rates are higher than they would otherwise be," said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. The total ... (More)

7.5 million could lose insurance

Republicans' latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act could lead to 7.5 million Californians losing their health insurance over the next decade, a study shows. "The effect on California would be devastating," Covered California chief Peter Lee said in sharing the report by the organization's chief actuary. The GOP-backed plan, which has been losing key support in the past week, is sponsored by Sens. Lindsey ... (More)

Uninsured rate at record low

About 8.8 percent of U.S. citizens went without health insurance last year, another record low. The U.S. Census Bureau said 28.1 million were uninsured in 2016, compared with 29 million (9.1 percent) in 2015. About 42 million were uninsured before the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act kicked in in 2014. Employer-based insurance covered 55.7 percent of the population for some or all of 2016, the Census Bureau ... (More)

Small-business hike put at 5.6%

Covered California's small-business operation seems to be riding out the health-care storm, announcing premium increases of only 5.6 percent for the upcoming year. That's down slightly from the 5.9 percent hike of 2017. Individual Obamacare premiums in California are expected to rise 12.5 percent for 2018. About 36,000 state residents get their health insurance via the small-business operation, which covers employees of companies ... (More)