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Only Kaiser Permanente To Reduce Covered California Premiums In 2015

A report from Citigroup says Kaiser will reduce its premiums on Covered California plans by an average of 1.4 percent.

Aired 8/13/14 on KPBS News.

A new analysis by Citigroup says Kaiser Permanente will be the only insurer on Covered California that will lower its premiums next year.

Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net and Blue Shield of California are the other major players on the online health insurance exchange. Collectively, these insurers are raising the cost of their plans by an average of 4.2 percent.

Anthony Wright, executive director of the nonprofit group Health Access California, said it sure beats the annual double-digit price increases of the last decade.

“We’re starting to see the benefits of a standardized and regulated market, where these plans actually have to compete on cost and quality, rather than just avoiding sick people," Wright said.

Despite the rate cut, Kaiser’s plans still remain among the most expensive on the exchange.

In contrast, Health Net's offerings are the cheapest.

In Covered California's first open enrollment period, more than 1.2 million people enrolled in a health plan and began paying premiums.

State regulators may review the rates before the exchange’s 2015 open enrollment period begins in November.

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