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22 ways California could make health care more affordable and accessible
The Sacramento Bee

Eduardo Contreras thought he would finally see some financial security this year.

For some time, his family had struggled on an income of about $50,000. Then Contreras got a new job as a cook at a winery, with better pay and more hours. In 2019, he and his wife, a hotel housekeeper, expect to clear $80,000. With an increase in family income of more than 50 percent, they looked forward to some relief from the pressure.

But then the 46-year-old Orange County resident took a look at his new monthly health insurance premium: $1,045, an increase of almost $700.  That’s partly because his wife, who hasn’t been covered before, has been ill and needs insurance. They’ve been able to appeal to Covered California, the state’s insurance exchange for those without employer-sponsored coverage, to get the premium down to about $951 after a subsidy. So far they have been paying the monthly bill, but Contreras fears it may become unaffordable for his family.