The Latest From California: Obamacare is Working


California’s biggest health insurer says there won’t be any Obamacare rate shock next year:

In the strongest indication yet where Obamacare rates are headed, industry giant Anthem Blue Cross said its California premiums for individual coverage will increase less than 10% on average next year….[Anthem Blue Cross President Mark Morgan] said the age and projected medical costs of new enrollees are in line with the company’s expectations thus far.

California is a big state that had a successful Obamacare rollout, and there’s no telling if we’ll see the same kinds of rate hikes in other states. But it’s telling that Morgan said the demographic profile of its new Obamacare enrollees was about what they were expecting. Presumably, they’re also seeing new enrollees pay their first premiums at about the rate they expected.

Note that these are no longer just vague predictions. Anthem and other insurers filed their rate increase applications with the state last week, and final rates will be set a few weeks from now.

Obamacare got off to a rough start. But despite endless hysterics from an endless stream of conservative talking heads—enrollment numbers are low, there aren’t enough young people, nobody is paying their premiums, blah blah blah—Obamacare is working. It’s not perfect, and it could be better if Republicans were willing to allow improvements. But it’s working.

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If you're new to Mother Jones or aren't yet sold on supporting our nonprofit reporting, please take a moment to read Monika Bauerlein's post about our priorities after these chaotic several years, and why this relatively quiet moment is also an urgent one for our democracy and Mother Jones’ bottom line—and if you find it compelling, please join us.

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