The 2019 Covered California rates and plans have been announced, and there is plenty of good news for consumers in Santa Clara County.
First, the average overall rate increase for existing consumers in the county who renew the plan they have now is 6.3 percent, which is below the statewide average rate change of 8.7 percent.
Better still, consumers can bring their rate increase down to an average of -12.2 percent, meaning consumers will pay less for their premium then they did in 2018 if they shop around and switch to the lowest-cost plan in the same metal tier.
“Covered California’s marketplace fosters competition that puts consumers in the driver’s seat and gives them the power to shop and save,” Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said. “Health care is local, and the price of coverage varies by health plan and region, so consumers will be encouraged to shop when they renew this fall.”
The most recent data shows there are more than 58,000 Covered California members in the county, and depending on their ZIP code, Santa Clara County consumers will once again be able to choose plans from Anthem, Blue Shield, Kaiser Permanente and Valley Health Plans.
Despite the recent federal decisions aimed at changing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, all 11 insurers currently serving Covered California consumers across the state will return for the 2019 coverage year. The exchange’s competitive marketplace continues to promote choice, with 96 percent of consumers being able to choose from two insurers or more and 82 percent of consumers having three or more choices.
Consumers can find out what they will pay for their 2019 coverage starting during the renewal period in October, when they can visit Covered California’s website at www.CoveredCA.com and begin using the Shop and Compare Tool for 2019.
Consumers who do not have health insurance can begin signing up for 2019 coverage on Oct. 15. Others with special qualifying life events, like losing their coverage or moving, can enroll year round. Medi-Cal enrollment is also year round.
People who are interested in signing up should go to www.CoveredCA.com where they can get help to enroll. They can explore their options and find out if they qualify for financial help by using the Shop and Compare Tool. They can also get free and confidential enrollment assistance by visiting www.coveredca.com/find-help/ and searching among 800 storefronts statewide, or more than 17,000 certified enrollers who can assist consumers in understanding their choices and enrolling, including individuals who can assist in other languages. In addition, consumers can reach the Covered California service center by calling (800) 300-1506.