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Why your insurance may be going up by 13 percent this year




Emlyn Louis, MD speaks with Julia Herrera as he examines her at the Broward Community & Family Health Center.
Emlyn Louis, MD speaks with Julia Herrera as he examines her at the Broward Community & Family Health Center.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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If you’re enrolled in Covered California, you might experience a bit of sticker shock come 2017.

Premiums are expected to rise 13 percent in 2017, an increase that is more than triple the rate at which premiums went up in the previous two years. In 2015, rates rose 4.2 percent, and 4 percent the year after. Experts say the increase is thanks to rising costs in healthcare, pricey specialty drugs, and the end of a program that kept rates fairly stable for the first three years of the Affordable Care Act’s implementation.

Just how much extra does that mean you’ll have to pay next year? That depends on where you live and who is your insurance provider. Those whose premiums end up too high because of the hike could look to switch to another plan, but that could create more trouble than it’s worth for some patients who have chronic conditions that require long-term care from a consistent medical team.

What does the Covered CA rate hike mean for your wallet? Can enrollees expect more hikes like this in years down the road? What does this say about the Affordable Care Act as a whole?

Guests:

Stephanie O’Neill, KPCC health correspondent; she tweets from @ReporterSteph

Dylan Roby, assistant professor of health services administration at the University of Maryland School of Public Health and an adjunct assistant professor at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health

Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute