Sacramento, CA — Although fewer people signed up for coverage through the state’s insurance marketplace, more than 50,000 new consumers selected a plan during the final three days of open enrollment.
Covered California announced Wednesday that 1.52 million people enrolled for 2018 insurance coverage, which is down about two percent from the prior year. However, 423,484 of those consumers were new enrollees, which is up three percent from last year. Additionally, fewer people renewed their plans, causing the overall decline. Covered California officials say part of the decline is because some people who make too much to qualify for subsidies could get a better deal elsewhere, while others got new jobs with insurance benefits.
Covered California reports subsidized consumers paid less for health coverage in 2018 than 2017 due to the protective effect of their subsidy rising to offset higher premiums, while unsubsidized consumers in the individual market — both in and out of Covered California — saw their costs rise. Without action by Congress, unsubsidized consumers nationwide could see their costs rise steeply in 2019 and find coverage increasingly unaffordable, according Covered California officials.
Created under former President Barack Obama’s health law, Covered California, the state’s insurance marketplace sells health plans to people who do not get coverage from an employer, Medicare or Medicaid.