Patients Insured By Covered California Find Mistakes Hard To Resolve
When things go wrong, consumers find that they are bounced between the state exchange and their insurer, and that small problems can be exacerbated by more errors. In other Covered California news, premiums are projected to rise 8 percent in 2017.
The San Francisco Chronicle:
When Covered California Goes Wrong, Insureds Get The Runaround
When it comes to signing up customers, Covered California has been a success. But when it comes to serving customers, the independent public agency — now in its third year of helping individuals and small businesses get federally subsidized or free health insurance — still has growing pains. While the insurance marketplace works for most enrollees, a single mistake can set off an avalanche of errors that blocks coverage or generates inaccurate tax forms. When customers try to get problems fixed, some say, they get bounced from Covered California to their health insurer and back again. Even when all three parties get on a call together and come up with a solution, the fix doesn’t get made — or doesn’t stay fixed. (Pender and Colliver, 5/8)
Obamacare Premiums In California May Rise 8 Percent Next Year, State Predicts
California’s health insurance exchange estimates that its Obamacare premiums may rise 8 percent on average next year, which would end two consecutive years of more modest 4 percent increases. The projected rate increase in California, included in the exchange’s proposed annual budget, comes amid growing nationwide concern about insurers seeking double-digit premium hikes in the health law’s insurance marketplaces. Any increases in California, a closely watched state in the health law rollout, are sure to draw intense scrutiny during a presidential election. Republicans are quick to seize on rate hikes as further proof that President Obama’s signature law isn’t doing enough to hold down health care costs for the average consumer. (Terhune, 5/11)