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Covered California Policyholders Have Some Decisions To Make

Photo credit: Covered California

Covered California is the state's online health insurance exchange.

People enrolled in a Covered California health plan could see big price hikes in 2018.

Price hikes and a large insurer pulling out of the market — it looks like it will be another rough and tumble year for the state's health insurance exchange.

Anthem Blue Cross said it will no longer sell policies through Covered California for people in San Diego County and 15 other regions in the state. That will affect 153,000 consumers statewide.

San Diegans will have nine other health insurers to choose from.

Exchange officials said health insurance premiums will rise an average of 12.5 percent next year. If President Trump decides to stop funding cost-sharing subsidies that people use to reduce their out-of-pocket costs, some consumers could see an additional 12 percent rate hike.

Vernita Todd, senior vice president for external affairs with Health Center Partners of Southern California, said those price hikes will be tough to swallow.

“But it’s important to note that if you change your insurer, say, if you have Anthem and you go to a Molina, there’s a chance that you don’t face those premium increases," she explained. "So, shopping between insurers is really important for customers.”

Covered California officials said political squabbling over the Affordable Care Act has disrupted the health insurance market.

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