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Covered California Insurance Rates Are Going Up In 2023 — But Not As Much As In Other States

A doctor holds a stethoscope on a patient's back in an exam room.
Dr. George Sawaya examines patient Susan Lehr at the UCSF Women's Health Center in June 2006.
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Health insurance plans offered through the state marketplace will be more expensive next year. Covered California announced premiums will cost on average 6% more in 2023.

That’s the largest rate hike in three years —though it’s still lower than in other states. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation analysis found a 10% average premium increase proposed by 72 insurers in 13 other states.

Some Covered California customers won’t pay the full cost. Rate increases vary widely by region, and as premiums increase, financial aid, which is based on household income, usually does as well.

About 1% of the rate hike is due to the uncertain future of the American Rescue Plan, a federal law that’s set to expire at the end of 2022. The legislation gave California $3 billion to reduce health insurance premiums sold through the state marketplace. The lower premiums led to more middle-income people buying coverage. More than 1.7 million people buy health insurance through Covered California.

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State officials estimate that if Congress does not renew the federal subsidies, about 1 million people will see their premiums double next year and about 220,000 would likely drop their coverage. That would likely lead to even higher premiums, as young and healthy people are the most likely to drop their coverage.

Covered California officials are calling on Congress to decide if the federal subsidies will be permanent or temporary before October, when consumers will receive their renewal notices for next year.

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Jackie Fortiér helps Southern Californians understand the pandemic by identifying what's working and what's not in our health response.