Expanded Subsidies Help Grow California Exchange Enrollment

California’s health insurance exchange, Covered California, expanded enrollment by 1.6% year over year for 2020, according to preliminary results released on Feb. 18 — figures that were highly anticipated since the state was testing new policies this year aimed at encouraging additional insurance signups.

Indeed, California attributed its enrollment growth to its newly expanded subsidies and robust marketing efforts by the state and payers. California now offers premium subsidies to people earning up to 600% of the federal poverty level (FPL), as the result of legislation passed last year and approved by Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), such subsidies typically only apply to people earning up to 400% of the FPL, unless a state chooses to provide funding for an expanded population.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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