Kaiser Is The Only Carrier To Lower Premiums For The 2015 Exchange

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

TOPIC ALERT:

  • Health Insurance
  • Covered California

Kaiser Permanente is the only insurer participating in Covered California that will lower its average premiums for exchange plans in the coming year, according to a new report by a Citigroup analyst, the Los Angeles Times reports (Terhune, Los Angeles Times, 8/11).

Covered California is the state’s health insurance exchange, created under the Affordable Care Act. The exchange’s next open enrollment period will begin Nov. 15 and run until Feb. 15, 2015.

Background

On Aug. 1, Covered California officials announced that the average premium for health plans offered on the exchange will increase by an average of 4.2% for the coming year.

The rates will be reviewed by state regulators before being implemented officially (California Healthline, 8/1).

Details of Insurers’ Rate Changes

In the report, Citigroup analyst Carl McDonald found:

  • Anthem Blue Cross is increasing its average premium rates by 4.6%;
  • Blue Shield of California is increasing its average premium rates by 6%; and
  • Health Net is increasing its average premium rates by 4.9%

Meanwhile, Kaiser is decreasing its average premium rates by 1.4%.

McDonald said that Kaiser likely is lowering its rates in an attempt to draw more consumers to its plans but that there probably will not be “a material market share shift” because the insurer’s plans are still among the most expensive sold through the exchange. He said, “Health Net’s products stand out as being by far the cheapest.”

The report notes that rate changes vary by region and type of health plan (Los Angeles Times, 8/11).  Reposted from California Healthline August 2012

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