Covered California Rate Decisions Expected Next Week

With uncertainty around the continuation of cost-sharing reductions to subsidize health exchanges by the federal government, Covered California has been delaying its decision on setting its premium rate increases. Covered California enrollees will be able to view coverage options and plans beginning on October 11. If Congress does not take action on cost-sharing reductions by next week, Covered California will assume federal contributions have ended and add a surcharge to silver tier plans.  As a result, silver tier plan premium rates for next year could increase an additional 12.4 percent on top of a previously-announced 12.5 percent average increase for all Covered California plans. Silver tier plans are the only Covered California plans that benefit from federal cost-sharing reductions. With the delay in setting rate increases, time is running short for enrollees to receive notices and decide between plans in a timely manner when open enrollment begins on November 1.