It appears that health insurance rates will increase by about 13% in California for 2017. For family of 4 that is paying $1500/mo in 2016, the rate increase will equate to nearly $200/mo. For those that are getting a premium tax credit (a subsidy to help pay their premium), the actual dollar amount of their rate increase may be lower, but their income is also presumably lower, so the net financial effect could be about the same.
Fortunately for Orange County CA residents, there is going to be a new carrier in 2017 – and this carrier appears to have very competitive pricing. Although every situation is different, it’s very possible that by going with this new carrier, you could keep your current level of coverage yet keep your premiums the same as 2016!
Another way to combat rate increases is to get a plan with less benefits. While you could virtually eliminate the rate increase, your out-of-pocket expenses might be greater. So it may be time to look at your healthcare expenses over the past few years and determine if you’re using enough coverage on an annual basis to justify the higher premium of a benefit-rich plan. Your health insurance broker may be able to help you sort this out.
All the pricing is not available yet, and Open Enrollment doesn’t begin until November 1, 2016. But it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead and have a strategic conversation with your health insurance broker before the mad rush in November and December.
Author: neil steinman
Neil Steinman is the principal of Orange County Health & Life Insurance in Orange County, CA – and has been serving the needs of California residents for nearly 20 years.