News Release

Date Posted

Covered California Brings Health Care Within Reach and Shows How Consumers Can Save by Shopping

  • Consumers who change plans while renewing their Covered California health plan are saving on average $38 per month, or $456 a year, by switching to the lowest-priced plan in their metal tier — demonstrating the power of choice and competition.
  • Covered California is addressing the need for truly affordable health insurance: With federal tax credits, nearly 50 percent of consumers can get a Silver plan for less than $100 per month, often with low copays and deductibles. In addition, 60 percent of consumers receiving tax credits can get a Bronze plan for less than $10 per month that provides free preventive care and protection for high-cost medical events.
  • 258,158 new consumers have signed up during this enrollment period.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California released new data that demonstrates that affordable health care is within reach of consumers, and that renewing consumers can save money when they shop around and switch to a lower-cost plan within the same metal tier.

“Covered California has built a competitive market where the consumer is in the driver’s seat and our health plans are fighting for their business,” said Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California. “Consumers who are shopping and switching to the lowest-cost plan in the same metal tier are saving more than $450 per year.”

The data reveals two key points for the approximately 1.3 million Californians who are renewing their coverage with Covered California:
  • Enrollees who have switched their health plan for 2017, but whose plan remains within the same metal tier, have saved an average of $38 per household per month or $456 per year.
  • The majority of renewing enrollees, 78 percent, could pay less than they are paying now if they switch to the lowest-cost plan within the same metal tier.
For both those renewing their coverage and those getting covered for the first time, Covered California released data confirming the affordability of health insurance for the close to 90 percent of consumers who benefit from federal tax credits:
  • Nearly half of all Covered California consumers, 49 percent, can get a Silver plan costing less than $100 per month. All of these consumers would benefit from financial assistance to lower their out-of-pocket expenses at various levels. In fact, 195,000 people, or 17 percent of current Covered California enrollees, can visit their doctor for only a $5 copay and will have an annual deductible of only $75 for an individual and $150 for a family. (The deductible only applies to hospital care.)

    • For all Silver plans, no outpatient services — such as primary, urgent and specialist care, and diagnostic tests and generic prescription drugs — are subject to a deductible.
  • More than half of all Covered California consumers receiving a tax credit, 59 percent, can get a Bronze plan for less than $10 per month. Bronze plans offer three visits to a primary care physician or specialist that are not subject to a deductible.
“The availability of tax credits is making health care truly affordable,” Lee said. “Not only can our consumers see the best doctors and hospitals in the state, but our patient-centered benefits are giving them access to care without being subject to a deductible.”

Covered California also announced that as of the end of Jan. 3, more than 258,000 people have signed up for health insurance coverage through or a certified enroller.

Open enrollment runs through Jan. 31, 2017. Consumers who enroll by the Jan. 15 deadline will have their coverage start on Feb. 1. Those who enroll between Jan. 16 and Jan. 31 will have coverage beginning March 1.

Consumers interested in enrolling online can do so on They can also get free and confidential in-person assistance, in a variety of languages, by clicking on “Free Local Help to Enroll.” They can find a nearby enroller or have a certified enroller contact them through the “Help on Demand” feature. Consumers can also enroll over the phone by calling Covered California at (800) 300-1506.

About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s health insurance marketplace, where Californians can find affordable, high-quality insurance from top insurance companies. Covered California is the only place where individuals who qualify can get financial assistance on a sliding scale to reduce premium costs. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Depending on their income, some consumers may qualify for the low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal program.

In addition, small business owners can purchase affordable health insurance for their employees through Covered California for Small Business.

Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the health insurance marketplace work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the governor and the legislature. For more information about Covered California, please visit