SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Covered California today announced health insurance rates for 2017, citing an average statewide increase of 13.2 percent as the exchange moves into its fourth year of operation.
The major factors influencing rates in 2017 include increased spending on medical care as more Californians are using services and prices increase – particularly dramatic increases in specialty drugs prices – and the phase out of two federal programs designed to stabilize the market during the first few years of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These forces and reports of some enrollees signing up for coverage only when they need medical care and then dropping it, as well as individual circumstances like age, family size, income and zip code, are driving premium changes in 2017 that may result in some paying more for coverage.
California Association of Health Plans President & CEO Charles Bacchi issued the following statement on today's announcement:
"In 2017, Covered California prices are influenced by higher spending on medical care, particularly skyrocketing prices on specialty drugs, and the sunset of two federal programs.
"California's health exchange opened up access to health care for millions, with 11 health plans in Covered California competing over price and quality in most regions of the state.
"Some rate increases are necessary to cover the cost of care as more and more Californians use medical services that have become increasingly expensive each year. As prices for hospitals, doctors, specialty drugs and other services keep climbing, we cannot lose focus on the need for affordability."
The California Association of Health Plans also released a new infographic that illustrates the primary and secondary factors impacting 2017 health coverage premiums. While premiums will change in 2017, nine out of 10 enrollees qualify for subsidies to help pay for coverage and ensure Californians have access to quality, affordable health care. To view CAHP's infographic on 2017 premiums, please visit our website and for more information on how high-priced drugs continue to impact health coverage at all levels, please visit www.runawayrx.org.
CAHP is a statewide association representing 48 full-service health plans. Through legislative advocacy, education and collaboration with other member organizations, CAHP works to sustain a strong environment in which our member plans can provide access to products that offer choice and flexibility to the more than 25 million members they serve. For more information, please visit http://www.calhealthplans.org/ or call (916) 552-2910.