California Health Insurance Premiums Set to Increase 6% in 2023

A doctor listens to a man’s heartbeat at Bieber Hospital, California. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

Health insurance premiums sold on the state market will increase by about 6% next year, Covering California officials announced.

This increase is the highest in California since 2019. In the past three years, insurers have maintained an increase of less than 2%.

Price changes vary by region – from an 11.7% increase in Imperial, Inyo and Mono counties to no change in Fresno, Mafumu, and Area counties.

As wages increase, personal financial support they usually do, too. Aid comes from household income, so aid can offset some of the increase. But people who don’t qualify for the subsidy will have to pay the full cost of the increase.

“Payments are a reflection of how health care costs are, how they vary from state to state, how health care costs are growing over time, which we know is very high and rising in this country,” said Jessica Altman, the agency’s director. Covering California.

He noted that inflation in California is still low compared to other states. A A recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation they found an average increase of 10% they have issued 72 insurances in 13 other countries.

The rise in risk, Altman said, was largely due to people resuming visits to doctors and procedures they had put off during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is also the cost of inflation.

About one percent of the increase, however, is attributed to Possible loss of additional support from the federal government, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Without additional support, people will have to pay more, which forces young, healthy people to drop their treatment. And when healthy people leave the market, wages go up for everyone.

The federal government American Rescue Plan last year he gave California is about $3 billion was selected for two years of additional financial assistance through Covered California. The new law helped reduce people’s monthly payments, which led to more people signing up for health insurance. It also expanded who was eligible for savings to include middle-income earners.

Currently 1.7 million Californians buy their groceries at the state market. Covered California says if Congress doesn’t renew the American Rescue Plan, about 1 million people will see their premiums double and about 220,000 could lose coverage.

“(The rate) of the people who get help is about divorce and what they pay out of pocket. What’s more important is what happens with the (American Rescue Plan) aid,” said Christine Eibner, an economist at the RAND Corporation, a think tank.

Altman said that Congress will soon do its best to avoid consumer confusion in the fall. Covered California typically sends renewal notices to enrollees beginning in October, before the enrollment deadline, and public clarity at that time is important.

“There have been arguments both ways – ‘Is it going to be permanent? Is it going to be temporary? Is it going to stay the same?…Or are there going to be some changes to it?’ – and we don’t know,” said Altman about negotiations are taking place in Washington, DC.

California 2022-23 The budget includes $304 million for middle-market enrollees that would begin if Congress no longer provides support. While that’s helpful, it won’t fill the hole that the $1.7 billion annual grant would leave, Altman said.

Covered California also announced that another insurer, Aetna CVS Health, will join the state market and become an option for residents of El Dorado, Fresno, Kings, Madera, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo. Meanwhile, Anthem Blue Cross will expand into San Diego County.

CalMatters is a public interest media service dedicated to explaining how the California Capitol works and why it matters.