Californians will see a jump in 2017 insurance premiums, Covered California announced Tuesday. The average increase will be 13.2%, according to state officials, which is more than three times the rate premiums have increased over the past two years, when there were 4% hikes.

To avoid that size of increase, Californians will have to go shopping. The insurance changes recognized by the State of California are Anthem Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield 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 and Western Health Advantage.

Alternative plans remain relatively scarce

Not all health care providers operate in all counties, officials said. Most Californians will be able to choose from three or more plans, Covered California said, and everyone will be able to select from at least two. Covered California operates under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare. Federal regulations prohibit medical services from making an excessive profit, officials said, and the rate hike is largely the result of a basic increase in the cost of providing health care, including specialty drugs and costs relating to people entering the health care system only after they become ill.

Subsidies will help some

Consumers will be helped by rules decreasing the number of services subject to an out-of-pocket deductible, officials said. Some consumers will also be helped by tax-funded subsidies designed to make it possible for them to buy insurance.

New rates will be reviewed

The new rates will only launch after a 60-day public comment period. The rates also must be reviewed by the California Department of Managed Health Care.

Finally, Health Net’s APO will be reviewed by the California Department of Insurance. To have an impact on decisions, consumers would have to demonstrate the premium hikes are not necessary rather than express their disapproval for other reasons. The fees are unlikely to have an impact on the presidential race because California is firmly within the grasp of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

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