Sacramento Business Journal by Kathy Robertson –
July 15, 2013:
State regulators have signed off on the rates proposed for Covered California’s individual marketplace because state actuaries found them reasonable, the Department of Managed Health Care announced Monday.
Rates — and health plans — for individuals who will buy health insurance through the new state benefit exchange were released in May, but the rates required regulatory review.
The proposed premiums came in lower than expected, so state approval was expected.
The agency reviewed the proposed rate filings from each of the 13 selected plans that will offer coverage next year. Enrollment starts Oct. 1.
“Upon close scrutiny, the DMHC found that the plans have justified their proposed premium rates,” agency director Brent Barnhart said in a news release.
People in the Sacramento area who shop for coverage through the exchange next year will have four insurers to pick from: Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Kaiser Permanente and Western Health Advantage.
Statewide, rates will vary by family size, age and income, but for comparison purposes, they range from two percent above to 29 percent below the average 2013 premiums small employers pay in California’s most populous regions.
“Covered California is pleased that regulators completed the review so the exchange can move forward with its Oct. 1 launch date,” spokeswoman Anne Gonzalez said.
The exchange now needs to go back to the plans and sign final contracts, Gonzalez said. That process should be done by the end of July.