Covered California open enrollment for policy renewals is beginning October 11, and new rates will be available same day. Overall, the process and coverage is going to be very similar to what you’ve experienced with prior renewals, however there are a couple important changes I want to make you aware of:
Rates are increasing for most plans, like they do every year. EMost plans should be seeing adjustments in line, or slightly more, than in years past. One exception is if you have any children under 19 enrolled in Covered California (does not apply to Medi-Cal) on your account. Currently, all children under 19 are charged the same rate regardless of age. On Dec. 31. a provision in the ACA is expiring, and each age will now have their own set of rates. Some of you will see a decrease specifically for your child, and some of you may see a significant increase.
Kaiser Permanente is looking to be a very strong option in Santa Cruz county going forward. They have facilities in Santa Cruz, Watsonville, and Scotts Valley, and are aggressively expanding in the area. Some of their plans are nearly 50% less expensive than the Blue Shield and Healthnet equivalent. Kaiser is an HMO, which may mean you’ll need to select a new primary case physician.
Lastly, Anthem is not going to offer individual plans in Santa Cruz County in 2018. If you have an Anthem plan, you’ll need to select a new insurance company.
Update 08/12/17: Silver tier plan rates will be increasing more than other tiers, due to the executive order signed by the president to remove cost-share subsidies.