Covered California has released their 2017 Regional Rate and Plan Information summary. This summary has a more in-depth focus specific consumer market information than does their 2017 Health Plan Booklet. While the target audience is Certified Application Counselors and Agents, there is also some very useful information for consumers. Download the full summary at the end of the post.
Rate and Plan Information by Region
Because most individuals and families in Covered California are receiving the monthly APTC subsidy to lower their health insurance premium based on their income, the increase or decrease of rates noted in the summary may not always be relevant a particular family. For example, in Region 1 – Northern California Counties the rate summary indicates that the Blue Shield PPO has a weighted average increase of 22.3%. But if the household income decreased, the subsidy will be larger mitigating the actual increase of the monthly health insurance premium for the family.
For households that are either not accepting the monthly subsidy (they have selected to reconcile the Premium Tax Credits at the end of the year on their federal taxes) or buying a mirrored Qualified Health Plan off-exchange directly from the carrier, the summary does provide a table ranking the rates by metal tier.
Perhaps the most valuable information imparted within the Regional Rate and Plan information summary are the notes regarding the changes to the health plans. For example, in Region 4 – San Francisco we learn that Blue Shield will be offering a HMO plan in addition to their PPO, Kaiser has added a Gold plan, Oscar EPO will be available in 2017, and UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay has been added to the Blue Shield PPO and Chinese Community Health Plan HMO networks.
Another piece of important consumer information is the inclusion of hospitals in-network for each health plan. Not listed are the Kaiser hospitals, which are only in-network for Kaiser members.
The latest Covered California Regional Plan and Rate Information summary is overloaded with tables, charts, and numbers. Most of it is of little use to the average consumer. But there are nuggets of information that will help individuals and families make an informed selection for their 2017 health insurance coverage. Also, don’t forget, that in 2017 Covered California will allow family members to be split between different metal tiers and carriers. One person might have a Platinum plan from Kaiser while another family member selects a Silver plan from Blue Shield. This adds another wrinkle to attempting to stratify health plans purely based on monthly rates. Some households could see their monthly premiums decrease as only one person stays in a Platinum plan and the others drop down to a Silver plan.
|Date:||September 2, 2016|