Open Enrollment for 2017 coverage with a Covered California Health Plan ends on Tuesday, January 31, 2017. Covered California is allowing consumers who attempted to enroll by January 31 an extra four days to complete enrollment and select their health plan. Some consumers may face challenges completing enrollment and Covered California is committed to helping all consumers who attempted to find help cross the enrollment finish line.
Consumers now have until midnight on Dec. 17 to sign up for health care coverage that will begin on Jan. 1, 2017, Covered California announced.
Sharp Health Plan of San Diego has sent letters to existing members alerting them that a previous notice of 2017 rates was in error. It is unclear from the member letters why both the 2016 and 2017 rates were stated incorrectly. From limited information, it looks as if the both the 2016 and 2017 were high. The 2017 rates are actually lower than originally reported to members. The corrected rates match the Sharp 2017 IFP rate sheet and rates posted to Covered California.
Health Net has announced that they must discontinue their 2016 PPO plans at the request of the California Department of Insurance. Health Net had originally filed for a 23% rate increase for their 2017 PPO plans. Through negotiations with the Department of Insurance, Health Net lowered the rate increase to an average 12.1%. Because of the changes to the PPO plans, Health Net will need to cancel their 2016 PPO Plans on December 31, 2016 and offer a new PPO plan design to new and existing members. On October 4, 2016, the Department of Insurance concluded that the lower rate increase was not unreasonable.
Health Net of California has announced that all of their 2016 individual and family health plans will roll into 2017. There will be no plan closures making it easier for current members to renew their health plan for the 2017 calendar year. In letters being sent out on September 30, Health Net will be offering a $50 gift card as a reward for certain healthy initiatives on the member’s part.
Covered California announced today the rates and expansion plans for its small group health insurance exchange, Covered California for Small Business. The statewide weighted average rate increase is 5.9 percent, for employers and their employees beginning Jan. 1, 2017, which is down from the 7.2 percent increase in 2016.
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.
Covered California hosted a webinar where they went over the numerous changes to the health plans for 2017. This included the expansion of some health plans into more counties, the conversion of PPO plans to EPO for one carrier, and the addition of a HMO plan for another carrier. They also reviewed the minor and major cost sharing changes to their metal tier level plans offered by all the carriers.
Cigna has filed their 2017 California individual and family plan rates with the California Department of Insurance requesting overall rate increase of 18%. Cigna’s rate filing states the new 2017 health insurance premiums would affect 18,253 of their members in California.
The California Department of Insurance (CDI) has posted the health insurance premium rate increase requests by Health Net for their 2017 California individual and family plans. The overall increase request is 23%, with a maximum for some health plans as high as 34%. The Health Net rate increase would apply to 11,582 members currently in their PPO and EPO health plans.