Rates increasing for Californians enrolled in Covered California

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Average monthly premiums through the exchange will increase by more than 13-percent statewide in 2017. (KFSN)

It's time for baby Violet's shots. It will sting, and some fear the rising cost of health insurance through Covered California could too.

Average monthly premiums through the exchange will increase by more than 13-percent statewide in 2017.

In Tulare and Merced Counties, it's an 8.4-percent jump.

In Fresno, Kings, and Madera Counties, premiums will rise by an average of 10.7-percent.

Miriam Garcia, an Adventist Clinic Site Manager, said she continues to sign people up for Medi-Cal on a regular basis at their Dinuba west clinic.

"So they know us, they know us for one thing, secondly we're going to give them that one on one time that they need and not wait in a lobby."

The number of Covered California applications she's processed has dropped off from 50 in 2015 to around 20 for 2016.

Some think the premiums are too pricey and are willing to be hit with a penalty. And now, prices are expected to go up even more as a result of a program called Reinsurance coming to a close.

Covered California officials said nearly 80-percent of consumers will see a rate bump of no more than five-percent if they switch plans. That's why they're encouraging Californians to be true customers and shop around.

"I really think that they should make that attempt to meet with an enrollment counselor and find out where they stand so at least they have options at that point. They're going to know in which direction they're going to need to go," said Garcia.

Adventist Health has 20 enrollment counselors throughout the Central Valley. You can browse for others on Covered California's website.

So when the time comes to enroll or renew this fall, the sting might not hurt as much.

Garcia said customers may also be eligible for premium assistance.

Covered California said it's true rates will rise, but so will federal government subsidies that can help people pay for insurance.

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healthcovered californiahealth insurancemoneydinubatulare countyDinuba
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