Covered California Open Enrollment Begins November 15
By Sherry Grant, Esq.
Open enrollment for Covered California, the state's health insurance marketplace, begins on November 15 and runs through February 15, 2015.
Approximately 1.2 million people signed up for coverage in 2014, which far exceeded the expectations of the insurance exchange. This year, the challenge is to get those same people to renew, and have new enrollees come on board.
People will be renewed automatically into their existing policy (much like those who are covered by their employer), however, consumer advocates suggest that you "shop around" because your existing policy may no longer be the best deal.
According to The Los Angeles Times, the statewide average rate increase next year is 4.2 percent, with some insurers, such as Anthem Blue Cross, raising premiums more than 10 percent in certain markets. On the flip side, however, Kaiser Permanente is cutting its HMO rates in certain areas. Be aware, too, that there may be changes in a health plan's network of doctors and hospitals.
The Affordable Care Act came under enormous fire last year as the federal healthcare law's website, HealthCare.gov, was sorely lacking, and confusion on behalf of consumers and insurers alike was commonplace. And, though things may be a bit better after the "growing pains," some experts feel that with new carriers entering the market and significant changes to the price of plans, the enrollment hassle may be on par with that of last year.
The key, whether you're enrolling or renewing, is to do your homework—study the plan options and prices, and select what is right for you and your family. Navigate through Covered California's website, coveredca.com to find the help you need.