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Covered California Q&A

Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

Will I be Able to Keep the Same Plan in 2017?

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Question: Will I be able to keep the same plan in 2017 that I have this year?

Answer: Probably. It depends on where you live. United HealthCare, after just one year of limited participation in Covered California, is pulling out in 2017. Other plans, including Oscar, Molina and Kaiser Permanente, are expanding into some regions. But even if you can keep your plan, a rate hike could put it out of your financial reach. To find a better price, more Covered California enrollees will have to switch plans, which means they could lose their current doctors. According to Covered California, about 80% of consumers will be able to pay less than they do now or cap their rate increases at 5% if they shop around and buy the lowest-cost plan at their current benefit level. Now more than ever, California health care consumers will benefit from the assistance of a Certified Insurance Agent to help them find a plan they can afford that includes access to their doctors and other health care providers.


Good observation Joey. Here’s a link to 2017 plans by region: https://www.cahba.com/PDF/2017%20Plans%20by%20Region.pdf

Anthem is switching most of their PPO customers to EPO plans in 2017. Anthem will no longer sell PPO plans in 2017, except for Regions 11,12,13,14,15 In all the other 14 Regions, only EPO or HMO plans will be offered. If you have an Anthem PPO plan in one of those 14 regions that are being switched to an EPO plan, you will not know what the new EPO network will be until probably October. Page 27 of the Covered CA booklet shows the type of plans offered in 2017. http://www.coveredca.com/news/PDFs/CoveredCA-2017-rate-booklet.pdf Blue Shield will continue to sell PPO plans.

Covered CA, Peter Lee, and Anthem have been very quiet about this massive disruptive change from PPO to EPO plans. Also, Anthem’s published 2016 to 2017 rate increase percentages are deceptive, as EPO plans generally offer a smaller network of doctors and EPO’s do not cover any out of network costs. So we are paying more for less in 2017.

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