Merced County residents could be among the hardest hit across California if Congress doesn’t renew federal funding that lowers the cost of healthcare on the state’s health insurance marketplace.
The American Rescue Plan increased the amount of financial assistance available to people purchasing their own health insurance coverage on Affordable Care Act marketplaces. If Congress doesn’t approve an extension of the planpeople purchasing health insurance through Covered California could see an average premium increase of 82% — or more than $1,000, according to Health Access California, which focuses on consumer health advocacy.
Covered California enrollees living in Congressional districts 16, 21 and 22 – those of representatives Merced Democrat Jim Costa, Hanford Republican David Valadao and Tulare Republican Connie Conway, respectively – could face even higher premium increases.
People in District 16 could be hit with an average premium increase of 151% — the largest premium increase in the state compared to other districts.
La Abeja, a newsletter written for and by California Latinos
Sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter centered around Latino issues in California.
Congress could vote on the American Rescue Plan extension before breaking for August recess on Aug. 8. The funds are slated to expire by the end of the year if legislators don’t take action before then.
“Central Valley folks might be the most impacted, and yet the delegation may be split on party lines on whether to extend this help,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California. “If the help is not extended, you will have some of the biggest premium increases in the Central Valley.”
Lower-income people could see premium hikes
People without employer-provided health insurance turn to the Covered California marketplace to buy health coverage. Federal and state funds help keep Covered California’s rates affordable.