California’s new health insurance exchange took a crucial step this week, setting the rates that consumers will pay when the federal health care law takes effect on January 1, 2014. Most say there isn’t the rate shock that some had feared. But as we look ahead to further implementation of the Affordable Care Act, experts worry Californians will see spiking health costs, and that parts of the middle class will be left behind.

Glenn Melnick, professor and director of the Center for Health Financing, Policy and Management at USC
Jamie Court, president of the Consumer Watchdog in Los Angeles
Lisa Aliferis, health editor for KQED News
Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California

  • erictremont

    If a health insurance company offers an individual plan that is not sold through the California exchange after January 1, 2014, will it be required to include all of the benefits that must be included in policies sold through the exchange?

    • wkeber

      No, other non-exchange individual products won’t have the same benefits and regulations and will likely have a different network than those products in the exchange.

      • erictremont


  • Felicity Dashwood

    I’m confused by people saying $20-$60 or even $100 a month for health insurance is too expensive. How much do people pay for cable and internet ($50+)? Cell phone data plans ($50+)? Asking anyone with a job to pay $100/mo, even a minimum wage job, is completely justifiable if they are willing to pay for a cell phone or cable.

    • Joannefilm

      Why do you assume they have cable and cell phone?

      • Felicity Dashwood

        88% of Americans have cell phones of any kind, 46% of Americans have smart phones (via Pew Research), and 90% of American households pay for TV (via NYT), so it is a safe assumption.

  • alison degrassi

    Will the exchange be beneficial for people such as my husband and I? We are both self employed and currently carry a very high deductible insurance plan. We’re in our late ’50s/early ’60s and pay about $700 per month for a plan that really doesn’t cover very much at all.

  • rsparikh

    Congrats to CA Covered for getting this out early! It debunks all the crazy hype around supposed explosive prices. It goes to show that when plans are standardized and there is competition, health care costs can be reasonable. I hope the next step is to have quality ratings for each insurer and the ability for individuals to comment on service.

  • erictremont

    Jamie Court continues to spread the myth that Prop 103 is responsible for lowering increases in auto insurance premiums. In fact, Prop 103 had nothing to do with it. Auto insurance premiums went down because of changes in rules allowing insurers to recover damages caused by 3rd parties and other factors that are unrelated to Prop 103.

  • JEngdahlJ

    These success factors are recommended for organizations prepared
    to offer qualified health plans on public exchanges. Check:

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