Enrollment healthy despite politics

Enrollment in Covered California health-care plans continues to run well ahead of sign-ups reported a year ago.

insurance premiums skyrocketFor the month of November 2017 — the first month of open enrollment — more than 102,000 new consumers selected health insurance via the state Obamacare operation.

That’s almost a third more consumers who signed up compared with the 80,000 of November 2016.

“We’re seeing many Californians shop and enroll because the financial help is bringing coverage within reach for many,” said Covered California chief Peter Lee.

Lower enrollments had been feared because of the political turmoil affecting health care policy, as well as President Trump’s targeting of federal payments for subsidies.

Covered California said, however, that “the average net price for plans selected by new and renewing consumers this year is $120 per month, down from $134 per month at this point last year.”

The lower net prices take into consideration financial assistance, which is available only for lower-income consumers. The average “unsubsidized consumer” will see an estimated increase of 10 percent, Covered California said in its report on November enrollment.

“Contrary to the national narrative that health insurance prices are skyrocketing, our data shows that most Covered California consumers are actually paying less in 2018 for subsidized coverage,” Lee said.

Covered California said that its customers without subsidies — about 15 percent — may want to buy policies directly from health-insurance companies to save money.

Since 2014, more than 3 million people have purchased health insurance through Covered California.

Although open enrollment continues into the new year — California has an extended sign-up period — consumers who want their health insurance to start on Jan. 1 must sign up by Friday, Dec. 15.

Open enrollment ends Jan. 31, although Covered California seems to be making of extending the sign-up period by a week or so.

Speak Your Mind