Uncertainty in Washington drives rates up, Insurers out!

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Anthem Blue Cross of California will no longer sell individual health plans is many areas of the state – except for Santa Clara County, Stockton/ Modesto and Redding region.  These changes do not immediately impact the benefits of members currently enrolled in our individual health plans. They can use their benefits without interruption until the end of the year.

Covered California announced yesterday that rates in the state exchange and the individual health insurance marketplace will increase by an average of 12.5 percent statewide.  But consumers in most Bay Area counties will see much smaller increases – from an average 4.3 percent to 8.3 percent.

Insurers are raising rates and cutting back service areas in response to the dysfunction in Washington and the on-going republican circus that is “replace and repeal.” Insurers don’t like uncertainty and justifiably worry about the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine/ sabotage the Affordable Care Act. Even though the latest attempt by the senate republicans failed, Trump could still weaken Obamacare by not enforcing the individual mandate, continuing to disparage “disastrous” Obamacare, and cutting billions in certain subsidies for low-income Obamacare enrollees.

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Craig B. Blankenhorn has been in the Health Insurance for 17 years. He started his career with Kaiser Permanente in 1996. He joined MJC Employee Benefits in 2001.

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