2018 Premium Rate FAQs
Open enrollment for Covered California starts November 1, 2017 and ends January 31, 2018, giving you time to find the health plan that will best fit your needs. L.A. Care is proud to be offering the most affordable premiums in Los Angeles County for the Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers.
We want you to shop with confidence and know that you can get affordable coverage. Even though President Trump ended subsidies to health insurers, consumer subsidies were not affected and are still available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Most residents like you are still eligible for a consumer subsidy, and this is what is keeping your 2018 premium costs affordable.
We're pleased to provide answers to some of our frequently asked questions below about open enrollment and the 2018 rates. If you need help applying for coverage or figuring out if you qualify for financial assistance, call us at 1-855-222-4239 (TTY/TDD 711).
You can enroll now. The 2018 Open Enrollment runs from November 1, 2017 to January 31, 2018.
L.A. Care’s premiums are the most affordable in all of Los Angeles County for the Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers.
- You can count on a health plan that was created to serve you - Established in 1997, L.A. Care Health Plan is an independent public agency created by the state of California to provide quality health coverage to Los Angeles County residents. As a not-for-profit health plan, L.A. Care is dedicated to meeting the health care needs of all Angelenos. This includes keeping monthly premium rates affordable.
- You will have access to our large network of providers - L.A. Care continues to expand the number of doctors, hospitals and medical groups in our provider network within the communities where you live, work and play. Our network includes 42 hospitals, 2,000 physicians and 1,000 pharmacies, including CVS and Rite Aid stores.
- You will get no-cost preventive and wellness care - This means that you may have no co-pays or co-insurance, and you do not have to meet your deductible (if there is one for your plan), before full coverage for preventive care services begin.
- You can take advantage of all the programs and services we offer - Other features include a free Nurse Advice Line that is available to all members, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our Family Resource Centers offer health education, exercise classes and disease management programs all available at no cost.
The rate you pay depends on your annual income, household size and primary age of the subscriber. To find out estimated rates, call 1-855-222-4239 (TTY/TDD 711) for free and confidential assistance. You can also visit lacarecovered.org to use the rate calculator to learn about coverage options.
There is still financial assistance available because the Affordable Care Act's consumer subsidy did not go away. You can still get affordable coverage.
L.A. Care encourages our current members and those looking for health insurance to ask questions and get quotes so you can see the rates for yourself. Despite what is happening in Washington, D.C., you can still find affordable coverage that will work for you.
If you need help figuring out if you qualify for financial assistance, please call us at 1-855-222-4239 (TTY/TDD 711).
Please don't be discouraged from shopping for health insurance. Health coverage is extremely important, both to promote your wellness and well-being, and in case of emergencies or a serious illness. The Affordable Care Act is still here, still in effect and still providing the benefits of health care to those who could never afford it before.
Despite the uncertainties we are facing due to talks in Washington D.C., we are committed to continue participating in Covered California and to serving our L.A. Care members.
During this open enrollment period, L.A. Care encourages you to take advantage of affordable rates and the consumer subsidy that is still available for those who need financial assistance. It's worth taking the time to shop for a quality health plan to see the costs and benefits for yourself.
Covered California will be providing all consumers with updates on any changes to premiums as more information becomes available. As of now, L.A. Care’s premiums are the most affordable in Los Angeles County for the Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers.
- The annual Open Enrollment Period is a great time to review your plan benefits and make changes for the upcoming year. If you’re happy with your metal tier plan and expenses, then you don’t need to make any changes.
- Here are some things to consider if you are deciding to move to a lower cost plan:
- How many times did you see a doctor this past year?
- Did you fill any prescriptions on a regular basis?
- Do you anticipate your use of health services to increase, decrease, or remain the same in 2018?
- Did you pay more in out-of-pocket expenses than you expected?
- If you are deciding to move from a Silver or Enhanced Silver Plan to Bronze plan, here are some differences you might want to consider:.
- Bronze Plans offer the lowest monthly premiums but have the highest out-of-pocket costs when you use services.
- Silver Plans have higher monthly premiums than Bronze Plans but have lower out-of-pocket costs than Bronze Plans.
- Enhanced Silver Plans are available based on your annual income level and provide additional out-of-pocket savings.
- Enhanced Silver Plans offer out-of-pocket savings through lower co-pays, or co-insurance and/or deductibles.
- Enhanced Silver Plan enrollees, in general, get the benefits of a Gold or Platinum Plan for the price of a Silver Plan.
If you have questions about switching plans and your benefits, call 1-855-222-4239 (TTY 711) for free and confidential assistance.
- Every situation is unique. Time may vary depending on whether you enroll as an individual or as a family. Expect to spend an average of about 40 minutes (sometimes less, sometimes more) to completely fill out your application.
- After you have enrolled with L.A. Care Covered you must make your initial binder payment for your coverage to start on January 1 of the enrollment year.
- Once your payment is received, Covered California will send you welcome information, including a welcome letter and a brochure on how to use your plan.
- L.A. Care Covered will then mail your ID card and a New Member Kit to guide you through your plan. (Please note that once Covered California processes your payment, L.A. Care Covered has 10 business days to send your ID card and New Member Kit. Please call our member services department at 1.855.270-2327 (TTY 711) if you do not receive these items).
- L.A. Care Covered has representatives ready to answer your questions and help you receive free and confidential assistance. Simply call 1.855.222-4239 (TTY 711) to enroll by phone or to schedule an appointment, or visit us at lacarecovered.org to enroll online.
- To expedite the process, please have handy Social Security numbers, birthdates, legal status documents and current income information for the family members in your household and you.
I am a current L.A. Care Covered™ member. Why do some of the other metal level plans have much lower premiums than what I am paying right now? (Source: Covered California)
- As the metal category increases in value, so does the percentage of medical expenses that a health insurance plan covers, compared with what you are expected to pay in co-pays and deductibles.
- Plans in the higher metal tiers have higher monthly premiums, but you pay less when you need medical care. If you choose to pay a lower monthly premium, then you will pay more when you need medical care. You can choose the level of coverage that best meets your health needs and budget.
- Here is a breakdown of the different metal plans:
- Bronze: On average, L.A. Care CoveredTM pays 60 percent of your medical expenses, and you pay 40 percent.
- Silver: On average, L.A. Care CoveredTM pays 70 percent of your medical expenses, and you pay 30 percent.
- In some cases, individuals may qualify for an Enhanced Silver plan. This means that when they choose a Silver plan, they have – based on their income – enhanced out-of-pocket savings through lower copays, coinsurance and deductibles. Individuals in these savings categories get the benefits of a Gold or Platinum plan for the price of a Silver plan. In the three categories of Enhanced Silver, L.A. Care CoveredTM pays either 94 percent, 87 percent or 73 percent of expenses, with you responsible for the rest.
- Gold: On average, L.A. Care CoveredTM pays 80 percent of your medical expenses, and you pay 20 percent.
- Platinum: On average, L.A. Care CoveredTM pays 90 percent of your medical expenses, and you pay 10 percent.
- In addition to the metal tiers, L.A. Care CoveredTM offers a Minimum Coverage Plan for those who qualify.
- Minimum Coverage Plan: If you are under 30, you may be able to buy an additional health plan option called Minimum Coverage Plan. These plans usually have lower premiums and mostly protect you from worst-case scenarios. Those who have minimum coverage plans do not qualify to receive premium assistance (also known as Advanced Premium Tax Credits). Minimum coverage plans through L.A. Care CoveredTM cover three doctor visits or urgent care visits, including outpatient mental health/substance use visits, with no out-of-pocket costs, and free preventive benefits. All other services will be full price but at the negotiated in-network price, until you spend $7,150, after which all in-network services are covered at 100 percent.
- If you have questions about the metal plans and the price variations, please call 1-855-222-4239 (TTY 711) for free and confidential assistance.
To see a list of providers in your community, use our Find a doctor or pharmacy tool. You can also call 1-855-222-4239 (TTY 711) and a representative can assist you with finding a provider close to where you live or work prior to enrolling. If you are already a member of L.A. Care Covered, please call our member services department at 1-855-270-2327.
To see a list of providers in your community, use our Find a doctor or pharmacy tool. You can also call 1-855-222-4239 (TTY/TDD 711)and a representative can assist you with finding a provider close to where you live or work prior to enrolling. If you are already a member of L.A. Care Covered, please call our member services department at 1-855-270-2327 (TTY 711).
L.A. Care representatives can help you find a doctor close to where you live or work. You can also call 1-855-222-4239 (TTY 711) and a representative can assist you with finding a provider close to where you live or work prior to enrolling. If you are already a member of L.A. Care Covered, please call our member services department at 1-855-270-2327 (TTY 711).
- Special Enrollment is a time outside the yearly Open Enrollment Period when you can sign up for health insurance. If you experience a qualifying life event, you can enroll in a L.A. Care Covered health plan during Special Enrollment.
- You must enroll within 60 days from the date on which the qualifying life event happens to enroll in a L.A. Care Covered health plan.
Below is a list of common qualifying life events for special enrollment that apply year-round:
Losing health coverage. For example: you no longer qualify for Medi-Cal, or you lose health coverage through your job or spouse’s job.
Income changes so much that a current Covered California enrollee becomes newly eligible or ineligible for help paying for their insurance. For example, if a consumer is already getting help paying for their insurance premium, and their income goes down, they may be able to get extra help.
Turning 26 years old and no longer being eligible to stay on a parent’s plan.
Moving. For example: moving to California from another state or moving to a new region within California that allows a current consumer to gain access to new Covered California health insurance plans. This also applies to individuals who are released from jail or prison.
Having a child or adopting a child, receiving a child into foster care, or placing a child into adoption or into a foster home.
Getting married or entering into a domestic partnership.
Becoming a citizen, a national or becoming lawfully present (where the individual was not previously lawfully present).
Being a member of a federally recognized American Indian or Alaska Native tribe. A consumer in this category may enroll in health insurance or change health insurance plan once a month, even if the Open Enrollment Period is over.
Covered California can also determine, on a case-by-case basis, that the consumer experienced an exceptional circumstance, which could allow for a Special Enrollment Period.
- If you have questions about the Special Enrollment Period, please call 1-855-222-4239 (TTY/TDD 711)) for free and confidential assistance.
Yes. L.A. Care’s mission is to provide access to quality health care for Los Angeles County's communities and residents and to support the safety net required to achieve that purpose.
L.A. Care does not feel that a plan at this price level is aligned with our unique mission to serve the low income and vulnerable population of Los Angeles County. An “Off Exchange” plan is health care coverage that you can purchase outside the Covered California Exchange that has similar benefits to coverage on the Covered California Exchange but which does not include premium cost subsidies. We will continue to offer the same metal level plans we make available on Covered California to anyone who would like to enroll in them directly with L.A. Care.
Anthem can provide information on the outreach they will be conducting to educate their affected members about what options they have during the upcoming open enrollment period. Continuity of coverage and care is likely the most important priority for these members and they will have the opportunity to make a choice for a new health coverage provider that best meets their needs with no lapse in coverage.
L.A. Care always looks forward to the open enrollment period as an opportunity to educate all L.A. County health insurance consumers about the advantages of becoming an L.A. Care member. We hope that many former Anthem members will see L.A. Care as an attractive health coverage option for themselves and their families.
We are not focusing on why Anthem has made their decision. L.A Care’s unique mission is to serve the vulnerable and low-income populations in Los Angeles County as well as those who have had the most challenges obtaining health insurance coverage. This includes those whose only option is to purchase insurance themselves. Because of that mission, L.A. Care is committed to offer health insurance on Covered California to Los Angeles County residents for the foreseeable future.