California has a state-run exchange called Covered California which is most successful under the Affordable Care Act. During the 2020 open enrollment period around 1.54 million people enrolled in affordable private plans through Covered California and around 1.57 people till now had enrolled in 2021 coverage with a January 1 effective date. However, COVID-19 special enrollment period runs through May 15, 2021, which will likely add to that enrollment tally. Individuals who are looking for cheap and affordable health insurance plans in California can either purchase health plans through the state health insurance exchange or Medicaid if their household income falls below 138% of the federal poverty level. It is not easy to make a smart choice while purchasing health insurance so individuals need to carefully compare all the available health insurance plans of their area to choose an affordable health plan that best fits their individual health needs and budget.
- California’s state-run exchange Covered California is highly successful.
- For 2021 coverage in the California individual market, eleven health insurers are offering health coverage with an average premium increase of 0.6%.
- According to Commonwealth Fund report, California ranks 19 out of 51 in the overall health ranking.
- As of now around 1.57 million have already enrolled for the coverage is more are likely to add with special enrollment open through May 15, 2021.
- The average premium for a 2021 individual and family Silver-tier health plan in California is $546 per month for a 40-year old.
- The Silver 70 HMO is the cheapest Silver plan in California with a monthly premium of $325 for a 40-year old.
Different Types of Metal Plans available in California
Residents of California have the option to choose from the four different metal tiers of plans, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Individuals can make use of the different metal-tiers of plans to evaluate the coverage needs and to estimate the cost of the plan of a given tier. The Platinum is the highest tier having the most expensive premiums and the smallest deductibles whereas the Bronze metal tier has the cheapest premium but has high deductibles.
Average Cost of Health Insurance in California by Metal-tier for Different Age Groups in 2021
|Metal-Tiers||Monthly Premium for 21 Years Old||Monthly Premium for 40 Years Old|
Private Health Insurance Options in California in 2021
As per the Affordable Care Act Californians are required to have health insurance or face tax penalties. Though a majority of residents of California obtain health insurance through Covered California, state-run health insurance is not the only option, and individuals can purchase health insurance even from outside the marketplace. People who are eligible for subsidies will benefit while buying through the exchange but individuals who do not qualify for subsidies due to high income have the option to opt for private health insurance plans available in their state. With the presence of eleven health insurance carriers in California, people of this state do have multiple options to choose an affordable private health insurance plan.
As per the Kaiser Family Foundation, health insurance coverage of the population in California is divided as, around 47% of the residents have employed-sponsored private health insurance plan, 26% of the California population have Medicaid plans, 11% of people have Medicare plans, and 7% of people opt for private individual and family health insurance plans, and around 7% of the population is uninsured.
Health Insurance Carriers offering Private Health Insurance Plans in California
- Blue Shield of California
- Anthem Blue Cross of California
- Chinese Community Health Plan
- Health Net
- Kaiser Permanente
- L.A. Care Health Plan
- Molina Healthcare
- Oscar Health Plan of California
- Sharp Health Plan
- Valley Health Plan
- Western Health Advantage
- Anthem BlueCross of California