CHA News Article

Covered California Releases 2016 Premium Rates and Exchange Insurers
Average increase is 4 percent

Covered California today announced its rates for 2016 and unveiled which health insurance companies will offer plans through the marketplace. The statewide weighted average increase will be 4 percent, just under last year’s 4.2 percent increase. According to Covered California, the majority of Covered California consumers will either see a decrease in their health insurance premiums or an increase of less than 5 percent if they choose to keep their current plan.

The weighted average increase for Southern California consumers who stay in their current plan is 1.8 percent, while for consumers in Northern California it is 7 percent. Consumers in Southern California can save an average of nearly 10 percent by moving to a lower-cost plan in the same metal tier, while consumers in Northern California would potentially be able to limit their rate increase to an average of 1 percent if they did the same.

Covered California also announced two new health insurance companies — Oscar Health Plan of California and UnitedHealthcare Benefits Plan of California. UnitedHealthcare is the largest single health carrier in the U.S. and will offer coverage in pricing regions 1, 9, 11, 12 and 13. Oscar is a new health insurance company that specializes in offering its members intuitive technology tools aimed at guiding them to better care. Oscar will offer plans in regions 16 and 18.

With the addition of the new carriers and the expansion of its current carriers, Californians in large metropolitan areas – where most of the state’s population lives – will continue to have from five to seven health insurance companies to choose from. In 2016, 99.6 percent of consumers will be able to choose from three or more carriers, and all will have at least two to choose from.

The rates submitted by the selected companies are tentative and subject to a 60-day public comment period and independent reasonability review by the state’s regulators. All 12 carriers will be reviewed by the California Department of Managed Health Care, and one carrier will also be reviewed by the California Department of Insurance. The offerings of both Oscar and UnitedHealthcare for the 2016 plan year are contingent on both successfully obtaining their California Knox-Keene license from the Department of Managed Health Care.

The complete list of companies selected for the 2016 exchange is:

  • Anthem Blue Cross of California
  • Blue Shield of California
  • Chinese Community Health Plan
  • Health Net
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • LA Care Health Plan
  • Molina Healthcare
  • Oscar Health Plan of California
  • Sharp Health Plan
  • UnitedHealthcare Benefits Plan of California
  • Valley Health Plan
  • Western Health Advantage

For more details on the plans in specific pricing regions, see the booklet Health Insurance Companies and Plan Rates for 2016. Covered California’s 2016 Shop and Compare Tool will be available online beginning the week of Aug. 3 at Consumers will be able to look at plans and products in their area and get a preliminary estimate of costs and premium assistance for 2016 coverage.