Covered California prices to jump 12.5 percent

FILE - Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Monthly premiums for California health insurance plans sold under Obama’s Affordable Care Act will rise by an average of 12.5 percent next year.

About 10 percent of people enrolled through Covered California will also be forced to look for a new plan, as Anthem Blue Cross plans to end the coverage in most of the state. State officials say Anthem will continue providing coverage only in Santa Clara County and parts of Northern California and the Central Valley.

The 12.5 percent average increase is slightly lower than last year, when premiums rose by more than 13 percent. Officials say consumers who switch to the lowest-priced plans could lower than increase to about 3 percent.

Covered California’s Tuesday pricing announcement comes during a moment of uncertainty in the U.S. health care system. President Donald Trump’s administration has threatened to end payments to insurance companies aimed at lowering out-of-pocket costs. Officials say premiums will rise even more for some consumers if those subsidies end.

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