Some in California face higher healthcare premiums

Oct. 27, 2013 at 2:18 AM
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LOS ANGELES, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Health insurance premiums are expected to rise an estimated 30 percent, on average, for middle-income consumers in California, the Los Angeles Times said.

The increase is one of several consequences of changes in state law under the federal Affordable Care Act, the newspaper reported Sunday.

The 16 million Californians whose employers provide health insurance aren't affected by the change. Individuals with so-called grandfathered policies -- taken out before the ACA was enacted in March 2010 -- are also unaffected, the report said. About half of individual plan policyholders have those plans.

Healthcare expansion in the state will result in coverage -- regardless of pre-existing conditions -- and the federal government is paying much, if not all, of the cost of coverage for lower-income consumers.

Several hundred thousand Californians with individual plans through Blue Shield of California and Kaiser Permanente are scheduled to lose their coverage in the coming weeks. In all, about 2 million Californians have individual coverage.

The terminations were a consequence of language in the state's insurance exchange, Covered California, intended to discourage companies from cherry-picking healthy patients and excluding them from the larger risk pool, the Times said.

Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, told the Times, "This is when the actual sticker shock comes into play for people.

"There are winners and losers under the Affordable Care Act," he said.

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