Focus Back On 2018 Premium Hikes As Open Enrollment Nears

Now that Senate Republicans have fallen short once again in their bid to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, attention is turning to this fall’s open enrollment in the individual insurance market, which will bring another round of rate increases for consumers in California and across the country. California’s enrollment period starts Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 31.

Premiums in the Covered California exchange will rise by an average of 12.5 percent next year, but state officials may raise rates even further if the Trump administration and Congress don’t commit to continue paying subsidies that reduce out-of-pocket health expenses for low-income consumers. Without certainty about those payments, California may allow insurers to raise rates by as much as 25 percent, on average, for certain health plans.

State officials are expected to announce a decision on Monday, pending developments in Washington. Chad Terhune, a senior correspondent at California Healthline, appeared Wednesday on KABC’s “McIntyre in the Morning” show to talk with host Doug McIntyre about what’s next for the ACA and how Washington still hasn’t tackled the high cost of health care.

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