Millions of Californians face rising health insurance rates

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) — Millions of Californians will face a significant increase in health insurance premiums as the U.S. bailout expires at the end of the year, new analysis reveals.

According to Covered California, many will be forced to drop their health coverage and potentially reduce the benefits they receive when seeking care.

The analysis comes as Congress plans to extend the premium subsidies that are part of this law before they expire on December 31.

“The U.S. bailout has provided more financial relief than ever before and helped record numbers of people get covered and stay covered,” said Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California.

“Without an extension, millions of people will face staggering premium increases, and many will be cut off from their health care coverage.”

Courtesy: California covered

The analysis details the increase in enrollments supported by the higher subsidies, the particular groups who benefited from them in California, the potential increases in premiums that consumers would face in October of this year if the subsidies are not continued, and the likely result of more than 150,000 Californians and 1.7 million people across the country being excluded from coverage.

Impacts on premiums of the removal of subsidies from the American bailout of Californians

  • Low-income consumers would see premiums increase from $0 to $74 per month.
  • Families of three would see their premiums increase by $199 per month.
  • Families of four would see their premium jump by $240 per month.
  • Middle-income couples in early retirement would lose all support and pay $1,720 more each month.

Starting in October, consumers would see increased rates when they begin receiving their renewal notices for the 2023 coverage year.

“Whether you’re one of Covered California’s record 1.8 million enrollees or get your coverage directly from a health insurance company, you’ll pay a lot more next year if these subsidies aren’t met. extended,” Lee said.

Higher health insurance premiums

Covered California’s analysis found that if ARP-provided subsidies were allowed to expire, enrollees who currently earn less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($52,000 for a single person and $106,000 for a family of four) would see their monthly premiums increase. $70 on average per month, or 71% for 2023.

The analysis also found that Californians who could least afford the price hike — those earning between $17,775 and $32,200 a year for an individual and $36,570 to $66,250 for a family of four people – would be the most affected, with their health insurance premiums expected to more than double.

According to Covered California, a total of 1 million of its consumers fall into this income bracket.

“While lower-income consumers would still get federal tax credits, many of those who see their premiums double will have their price deducted for the coverage they want and need,” Lee said.

“A total of one million Californians, those who can least afford it, will be hardest hit if these essential subsidies expire.”

Courtesy: California covered.

Expiring subsidies would also mean the return of the so-called “subsidy cliff” of the original Affordable Care Act terms which meant middle-income consumers – people who earn more than $51,520 a year and families of four earning over $106,000. per year — would not qualify for financial assistance, no matter how much it would cost them as a percentage of their income.

In California, nearly 150,000 middle-income consumers (9% of those receiving subsidies) benefited from lower premiums due to expanded financial assistance.

According to the analysis – without an extension of these subsidies, these middle-income consumers would see their premiums increase by an average of $272 per member, per month in 2023 – with families receiving subsidies facing much higher household premium spikes. students.

Millions of people could lose their coverage or benefits

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the premium hike would cost about 1.7 million Americans out of coverage.

In California, that could mean more than 150,000 people could decide to drop their coverage because of the high cost.

The analysis shows that removing the grant increase would also disproportionately impact communities of color in California, which have seen significant increases in enrollment during the pandemic.

“The US bailout builds on the Affordable Care Act and has taken a big step toward expanding coverage and getting the protection and peace of mind they deserve,” Lee said.

“Without action from Congress, consumers will begin to see these higher premiums when they receive their renewal notices in the fall, and they will be faced with some tough decisions.”

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