CHA News Article

Covered California Releases Data on 2014 Renewals for 2015 Coverage
273,111 consumers have selected a plan during 2015 open enrollment as of Jan. 26

Covered California released data this week on the number of 2014 enrollees it is renewing for private coverage in 2015. In October, Covered California began the renewal process for 1.12 million Californians who had coverage. Approximately 85,000 of those were determined eligible for Medi-Cal during the renewal process due to income or other changes, leaving more than 1 million enrollees eligible for renewal in private coverage for 2015. Of those consumers, Covered California has forwarded the names of 944,000 consumers — or 92 percent of eligible consumers — to health plans, as it works to renew approximately 80,000 others eligible for ongoing coverage who, for a variety of reasons, could not be auto-renewed or have not selected another plan. As of Jan. 26, Covered California reports 273,111 consumers had selected a plan during 2015 open enrollment. The period of time to sign up for coverage for 2015 continues for the next three weeks until Feb. 15.

Among the 944,000 consumers who have been forwarded to the plans for renewal, 368,000 chose to explore their options for coverage. The remaining 576,000 took no action, meaning they will be renewed with their carrier and current plan. Of these consumers, 54,000 (about 6 percent) have chosen a different carrier than they had in 2014.

Additionally, Covered California has released data showing that approximately 800,000 California households received federal subsidies in 2014, at an estimated average amount of more than $5,200 per household per year, or about $436 per month. The total amount of premium assistance — known as the federal Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC) — was $3.2 billion paid to health insurance companies on behalf of those who enrolled in private coverage through Covered California in 2014.

The consumers themselves paid $1.1 billion toward those policies in 2014, meaning that for every dollar a subsidized consumer spent on premiums, the federal government paid another $3. In 2014, in addition to premium assistance, more than 60 percent of consumers who received subsidized coverage through Covered California qualified for cost-sharing reductions, which reduced their out-of-pocket health care expenses. Covered California estimates that the value of the out-of-pocket discounts per household amounted to approximately $1,200 per year.

The data regarding federal subsidies released this week are reflected on new Health Insurance Marketplace Statements being mailed this week by Covered California. Known as IRS Form 1095-A, the two-page statement will show the amount of APTC each household received on a month-by-month basis in 2014. Similar to other tax documents, such as a W-2 or 1099, the 1095-A will be used by consumers when they file their federal tax returns this year to ensure the subsidy they received is appropriate. Under the Affordable Care Act, the amount of tax credit reducing the consumer’s monthly health insurance premium payment is based on an estimate of their income made when they purchase their insurance. Consumers pay their share of the premium to the insurance company, and the federal government pays a portion on their behalf, based on their estimated income in the year ahead. The APTC is paid in advance but reconciled as a tax credit at tax time based on the consumer’s official income as reported to the IRS. Consumers can elect to wait to receive the entire tax credit at the end of the year, but almost all consumers took their premium tax credit in advance.

For more information, visit the Covered California website at http://news.coveredca.com.

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