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Brace Yourself. Covered California Rates Are Out

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Covered California announced their average rate increases Thursday. We'll have more details in a couple of weeks about how much specific plans will cost in 2019. Here's what we know now:

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Remember, these are average rates. You're insurance policy might be going up a bit more or less.

Covered California officials say the best bet for many people is to shop around. LA County health insurance shoppers could save up to about 5 percent. In Orange County, that could be around 2 percent. Individual results will vary.

Depending on how much money you make each year, the federal government could help with part of the cost of your month insurance payment. About 90 percent of consumers on Covered California get those subsidies.

One study showed that each person who skips insurance represents about a thousand dollars to the health system, but it's much more costly for the individual. If you get sick without insurance your hospital bill could be tens of thousands of dollars.

Health care advocates say some of these consumer costs could have been prevented.

They blame some of the increase of the GOP tax plan that took away the fines for not having insurance. They also say the state could have taken a number of actions to lower costs.

Organizations like Health Access say they will try again to make it a reality after the elections under a new legislature and a new governor.