PLACERVILLE, Calif. (KCRA) —
Open enrollment for healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act began Tuesday. This year, people will be paying more. The average premium is up 25 percent nationwide compared to California’s 13 percent increase.
— 2017 open enrollment for health insurance runs from Tuesday to Jan. 31
— Premiums increased by 25 percent nationwide, compared to 7.5 percent last year
— California consumers will see an average increase of 13.2 percent
Donna Pethel, of Placerville, just received her Anthem Blue Cross renewal notice. When it’s time to cut the check, she’ll be paying 19 percent more for health insurance in 2017.
“Every year, they keep increasing deductibles, increasing out-of-pockets, increasing co-pays, covering less — that’s what’s really frustrating,” Pethel said.
Pethel doesn’t qualify for subsidies, so she is paying the full premium. That’s something she’s had to do as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
“Nothing about it has been affordable,” she said. “As a cancer survivor, I know how important it is to be guaranteed insurance and to not charge higher premiums.”
“Most Californians are not waking up to sticker shock because the rates did not go up like what you’re seeing across the country,” Covered California spokesperson Dana Howard said.
In the Golden State, consumers will see an average increase of 13.2 percent, compared to last year’s 4 percent increase.
Howard said many factors added to the hike from the higher cost of health care to insurance companies.
“The biggest area and biggest reason why there was an increase in California is because of the removal of those guardrails that were set up with the insurance companies by the federal government to stabilize the rates,” Howard said.
For 2017 enrollment, Californians can expect more walk-in sites to ask questions about plans and prices.
“People and consumers are going to have to take a more active role in determining what’s the plan and the best value for them,” Howard said.