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Individual Exchange- Rates Released

Covered California has announced the 13 health insurance plans that are approved for consumers for coverage periods beginning in January of 2014. The final selection includes regional plans, Medi-Cal plans, commercial plans, and non-profit options for consumers.

 The best way to get a grounding about the rates is to compare the current premiums to the small employer market. Covered California is similar to this market in that it is competitive and also provides guaranteed issue products (meaning that a person cannot be denied for any pre-existing conditions).

 The final plans approved for Covered California represented a premium cost range of anywhere from 29% below to 2% above the premium costs for small employer coverage in 2013. These early release numbers are good news for consumers, since the expanded plans under Covered California offer many more benefits than current small employer plans. Since essential benefits were required under the Affordable Care Act, consumers will now have access to many more benefits for around the same cost as small employer plans, offering consumers options and quality care without dramatic cost increases.

 The new guaranteed issue aspect of new policies is just one benefit for the nation’s patients. Previously, carriers were eligible to decline someone as a result of pre-existing conditions, knocking many individuals out of potential health care coverage. Now that preventive services are covered under the new plans, individuals will reap the benefits of high quality care early on. Finally, there is a maximum out of pocket cost of $6,350, which prevents consumers from racking up expensive medical bills that can cripple them financially.

 The final selected plans were chosen based on their affordability and ability to give consumers access to high quality patient care around the state. Preliminary research suggests that even consumers in rural areas will have 2-3 options for their individual healthcare coverage, allowing patients to determine a level of coverage and plan most ideal for them. To learn more about options or to get assistance in determining plan types and costs, contact an insurance agent to work through the process. One of the potential downsides of so many choices is that a consumer can easily feel overwhelmed and unsure about which plan represents the best solution for them, but an insurance agent can assist consumers with this process.