Latest California Healthline Stories
California Healthline senior correspondent Chad Terhune joins a discussion on Southern California Public Radio about last week’s premium hikes in the state health insurance marketplace.
The average increase in California is smaller than the double-digit hikes expected around the nation, due largely to a healthier mix of enrollees and more competition in its marketplace. Still, health insurance prices keep growing faster than wages and general inflation.
Advocates of the sweeping health law view this move by the Trump administration as its most recent act of sabotage. But not everyone views it as a mortal blow.
The Trump administration suspended a program over the weekend that helps stabilize the health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act, prompting some insurance companies to warn of higher premiums.
Peter Lee says the court challenge will take time and California will have a chance to pass its own protections in the interim. However, the decision by Congress to eliminate the tax penalty on people who choose not to buy insurance will weigh on 2019 premiums, Lee said. Recent projections by the exchange show an average 11 percent rate hike in 2019, along with a 12 percent drop in enrollment.
With the primary now over, health care may well emerge as an issue that helps voters distinguish between candidates for governor, attorney general and other offices in the general election.
In the face of federal efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, policymakers in the largest state are proposing laws and other changes to counter them. Beyond that, they’re aggressively pushing measures to expand health coverage beyond what the ACA envisioned.
When President Donald Trump signed the nation’s new tax law, he also killed the Affordable Care Act’s tax penalty — but not until 2019. Despite widespread confusion, experts caution that consumers still need to pay the tax penalty if they were uninsured last year or will be this year.
A report issued by the National Academy for State Health Policy shows a small decrease in sign-ups last fall. California saw a 2.3 percent drop, and in general states running their own marketplaces did better than those that didn’t.
Wednesday marked the end of open enrollment for Golden State residents who purchase their health insurance through Covered California or on the private market.