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)

Covered Cal rates up 12.5% in ’18

The average statewide premium for 2018 will reflect a 12.5 percent increase, California's Obamacare operation says. Looking for positives in a time of uncertainty, Covered California played up its stability -- "all 11 participating health insurance companies will be returning for the upcoming year" -- and cited the "ongoing uncertainty and a lack of clarity at the federal level." But one of those 11 insurers is pulling back ... (More)

Obamacare exchanges in limbo

Covered California might not wrap up negotiations with insurers and announce 2018 premiums for its 1.4 million customers until mid-August -- about a month later than usual. The move came as California's Obamacare exchange scrubbed its annual rate announcement in mid-July, the latest sign of how the ongoing political drama over the Affordable Care Act is roiling insurance markets nationwide. Similar scenarios are playing out ... (More)

Lots of boos in Calif. for health bill

California politicians, medical providers and consumer advocates served up harsh critiques of the newly unveiled Senate health care bill, arguing that the proposed legislation could make coverage inaccessible for poor residents while cutting taxes on the rich. "This bill is not a health care bill," said Ed Hernandez, a Democrat and chair of the state Senate Health Committee. "This is a tax bill that will benefit the most wealthy ... (More)

Blue Shield tops on Covered Cal

Blue Shield of California has the largest number of enrollees in the Covered California health insurance exchange, widening its lead over rivals Anthem Blue Cross and Kaiser Permanente, according to recently released data. The data, from Covered California, show that Blue Shield had 389,480 enrollees in the exchange as of December 2016, about 31 percent of the market. Anthem was next with 310,690 members, for a 25 percent share. ... (More)