Peter Lee of Covered California just conducted today an “Ask Me Anything” online chat on reddit.com. As is our experience, the questions and answers range from the broad to the specific:
Here are some of his broad comments:
A very “savvy question” — most people do not understand the difference of “metal levels” which will take effect in January 2014…starting then, ALL plans in the individual and small group market (both inside and out of the CoveredCA marketplace) must offer benefits that reflect a standard mix of what a plan pays versus what the consumer pays out of pocket. A Silver Plan means the plan pays 70% of the health cost and the consumer 30% in out-of-pocket…the richest plan (Platinum) means 90% of health costs are covered by the plan. VERY roughly the premium difference will go up about 10% for each level — but it could be different and we won’t know until final rates come in. The silver level is important for the 2.6 millions Californians who get subsidies, since the subsidy amount is based on the “second lowest” Silver Plan available to them. The consumer can then take that subsidy and buy a richer plan (and pay more of the premium) or buy a Bronze Plan and pay less. Also, lower income Californians will also get support to make their out-of-pocket costs lower.
Take a look yourself…