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Anthem Blue Cross Forces Many Californians to Make Difficult Decisions

It would be nearly impossible to avoid the news facing the health insurance world right now. As Congress continues to debate the merits and drawbacks of various replacements, the Affordable Care Act stands… But that doesn’t mean that things will continue exactly as they have been.\r
For one thing, there is no guarantee that the federal government will continue to fund subsidies that help to pay for premiums. That leaves our state lawmakers deciding what to do about the cost of health insurance plans offered through Covered California. Not only are premiums set to rise about 12.5 percent next year; California lawmakers are considering a 12.4 “CSR surcharge” to silver-level plans on top of that, if the federal government fails to fund subsidies next year.\r
The uncertainty is impacting health insurance providers as well. Anthem Blue Cross has just announced that they will pull out of much of California’s market, remaining only in Santa Clara County, parts of Northern California, and the Central Valley. About 153,000 Anthem customers, or nearly 10 percent of those enrolled in a health care plan through Covered California, will lose their provider. Luckily, for now most will still be able to choose from at least three other providers, depending upon their geographic area.\r
It’s not just happening in California. All over the nation, insurers are forced to reconsider their participation in the Affordable Care Act exchanges, or issue significant rate hikes.\r
It’s clear that Covered California and other states’ exchanges are facing some turmoil. In the meantime, remember that you don’t have to purchase your coverage through the exchange. If you’re one of the ten percent who will be affected by Anthem’s exit, or you just want to compare rates for the 2018 coverage year, we can help you decide if purchasing a plan on the private market would be right for you.

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