Calif. Unveils Tentative Price Tags For Health Plans On The Exchange

The monthly cost for policies sold on the state-run exchange came in lower than the 30 percent rate increases some had anticipated, though some consumers will still experience sharply higher premiums. Blue Shield of California estimated that current customers would see rate increases of about 13 percent.

Kaiser Health News: California Insurance Exchange Rates: Not Too High, Not Too Low
In the first disclosure of individual health insurance premiums by the nation's largest state, California announced on Thursday a wide array of choices for the 5.3 million people expected to qualify to purchase coverage through its online marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act (Varney, 5/24).

Los Angeles Times: New California Health Insurance Rates Unveiled
Amid anxiety over rising costs from the federal healthcare law, California received better-than-expected insurance rates for a new state-run marketplace, but many consumers still won't be spared from sharply higher premiums (Terhune, 5/23).

The New York Times: California Puts Tentative Price On Health Policies Under New Law
State officials said that rate increases for individuals who already had insurance would not be as high as some had feared. Blue Shield of California, for example, estimated its current customers would see rate increases of about 13 percent. Some estimates had suggested rate increases could be 30 percent. The increases are largely the result of higher prices and the need to cover people who now have no insurance and are likely to have expensive medical problems (Abelson, 5/23).

The Washington Post: California's Likely Health Insurance Rates Under New Law Are Lower Than Expected
California health officials on Thursday unveiled the likely rates that insurers will charge under President Obama’s health-care law — and they are lower than expected, rebutting warnings by critics that many people will experience "rate shock" once the law is fully implemented. On average, a person who chooses a mid-level plan can expect to pay around $321 a month, about $100 less than the amount projected by the Congressional Budget Office when the law was being debated in Washington (Somashekhar, 5/23).

The Wall Street Journal: California Outlines Health Premiums
Early results around the U.S. indicate prices for exchange plans will vary widely—both from state to state and among consumers—as will the effect of the law on premiums. In states such as Vermont and Rhode Island, with regulations somewhat similar to the federal law's rules, the legislation is having little effect on premiums. In other places, like Maryland and Kentucky, there have been signs of sometimes-large rate increases. In California, "we're getting the best-case scenarios" on rates, with some "far lower" than projected in an actuarial report commissioned by the agency, said Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California. He said costs would go up for some consumers, and down for others (Mathews and Radnofsky, 5/23).

Reuters: California Reveals Prices For Health Insurance Under Obamacare
California unveiled prices on Thursday that consumers will pay for a selection of health plans offered through the state under the Affordable Care Act, providing a glimpse into how health care reform may look as it is rolled out across the nation. Under the federal health care reform law, Californians who do not get or cannot afford health insurance through their jobs can buy coverage through an exchange, at a group rate negotiated by state regulators (Bernstein, 5/23).

HealthyCal: Covered California Rolls Out Health Plan Choices, Rates
Today was a big day for Covered California, the new state-run marketplace for health insurance created under the federal Affordable Care Act. The health exchange rolled out the 13 regional and statewide plans that will be available to more than 5 million Californians eligible to buy coverage through the new system beginning Oct. 1 (Weintraub, 5/23).

CQ HealthBeat: Exchange Bids Suggest Overhaul On Track In Pivotal State Of California
The Obama administration got a respite Thursday from the rising chorus of inside-the-Beltway doubts about the health care law with news from California that its insurance exchange will offer residents in the individual market 13 plans at what officials said are affordable rates. The plans available for small businesses will be announced in June (Reichard, 5/23).

The Hill: ObamaCare Plans Cheaper Than Expected In Key Rate Filing
New insurance policies under President Obama's healthcare law will cost significantly less than expected in California. The state released rate filings Thursday for the policies that will be sold through the health law's insurance exchange (Baker, 5/23).

Sacramento Bee: California Health Exchange Reveals Premium Costs, Insurers
California's newly created health exchange announced the bottom line on its insurance policies and rates Thursday, bringing sharper focus to family impacts of next year's health care overhaul. Thirteen companies were selected to sell policies for the individual market through Covered California, a state-owned marketplace for comparing prices of coverage with identical benefits but different networks of doctors (Sanders, 5/24). 

CNN Money: Obamacare Premiums In California Lower Than Predicted
Health insurers in California will charge an average of $304 a month for the cheapest silver-level plan in state-based exchanges next year, according to rates released Thursday by Covered California, which is implementing the Affordable Care Act there. But many residents will pay a lot less than that for coverage. Rates will vary by region, age and level of coverage, and many lower-income Californians will qualify for federal subsidies that will greatly lower the premiums (Luhby, 5/23).

California Healthline: Exchange Premiums Closely Watched By Industry, Nation
California isn't the first state to announce premium rates and vendors in a new health benefit exchange, but the announcements this week from Covered California may carry more clout than those already announced -- and probably more than those yet to come. Covered California announced which health insurance plans will be offered and how much they'll cost when the new insurance marketplace opens for business this fall. It is another milestone in California's race to be ready for full implementation of the Affordable Care Act next year (Lauer, 5/23).

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