Calif. health insurance rates increase slightly for 2021

Health

FILE – In this Nov. 13, 2013, file photo, Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange, talks at a news conference in Sacramento, Calif. On Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, Lee announced health insurance premiums for people who purchase coverage through the state marketplace will increase an average of 0.6% in 2021. It is the lowest average increase since the launch of the federal Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) โ€” Individual health insurance premiums in California will go up 0.6% next year.

It’s the smallest increase since the launch of the federal Affordable Care Act.

State officials announced the new rates Tuesday. The rates apply to the 1.5 million people who purchase health insurance through Covered California, the state insurance marketplace.

Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee says the increase is lower in part because more healthier people are buying insurance during the coronavirus pandemic.

Premiums increased an average of 8.5 percentage points per year from 2015 through 2019. But last year premiums went up an average of 0.8%.

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