Covered California announced which health plans will be included in the state health insurance exchange set to start enrolling Californians under the Affordable Care Act in 2014. Executive Director Peter Lee announced at the press conference that 33 plans had submitted bids to Covered California for the individual and family market but only 13 were chosen.
Not all plans selected for Covered California
There were various reasons why some plans did not make the cut from premiums being too high to plans not being able to meet the benefit criteria for the exchange plans. Covered California has chosen not to list those plans that weren’t selected in hopes the insurer will resubmit plans in the future.
13 selected plans include
Blue Shield of California
Two statewide plans
Only two plans, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California will be available in all the 19 regions in California. All of the regions will have at least 3 health insurance plans to choose from. Many of the plans are region specific to areas such as San Diego, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area. In addition, some of the plans have concentrated primarily in Medi-Cal and Medicare market and this will be their first push into the individual market.
All plans have same benefits
All of the carriers selected will be offering essentially the same health insurance plans. The variations come in the form of the doctor and hospital network, regions where the plans are offered, and the metal level of the plan (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum). These variations will also account for the premium difference.
Variation in prices
In the Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado and Yolo county region, the premiums vary between $30 – $70 for the different plans and carriers. Another factor in the carriers prices is probably the particular market they are hoping to attract from new to existing members.
When the estimated tax credit subsidies are applied to the rates based on the Silver Plan, the premiums looks very attractive for those who will qualify.
In addition to the press release, Covered California also released a Frequently Ask Question download and more comprehensive booklet of the selected carriers and benefits. I’ll do a more in depth analysis of the plans and benefits offered through Covered California soon.
Covered California Press Release [wpdm_file id=71]
Frequently Asked Question on Covered California Health Plans [wpdm_file id=70]
Health Plan and regional profiles: Covered California [wpdm_file id=69]
Plans for the small business group insurance market, SHOP, will be announced later.
August 7, 2013
Ventura County declines to sign
Covered California announced that all but one plan signed the individual and SHOP contracts to offered health insurance in the new market place.
Covered California is in support of Ventura County Health Care Plan’s decision to delay participation for a year and looks forward to having the company bid to be in the exchange in 2015. “We appreciate the executive staff of Ventura County Health Care Plan doing their homework and making a sound decision,” Lee said. “Covered California remains partners with Ventura County Health Care Plan and will lay the groundwork for negotiations next year.”
Ventura County’s 95,000 residents eligible for federal subsidies through the exchange now have three options for coverage: Anthem Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield of California and Kaiser Permanente. Residents who buy Blue Shield or Anthem Blue Cross insurance through Covered California will have access to care at Ventura County Medical Center, Santa Paula Hospital, and more than 30 medical clinics and a network of specialty services.