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POSTED November 21, 2013 9:50 p.m.





Covered California has released details about who has signed up for health insurance coverage so far on the state exchange, as well as details about the nearly 1.1 million people who are receiving notices saying their current policies are being discontinued. The data show:

— 30,830 individuals enrolled in October, the first month the exchange began operating.

— About 23 percent of enrollees were between the ages of 18 and 34, a rate that roughly mirrors that age group's share of the state's overall population.

— About 56 percent were between 45 and 64 years of age, more than double their share of the overall California population.

— Only 5 percent were under age 18, but more children qualify for the state's health insurance program for the poor, Medi-Cal, than do adults.

— 85 percent of those who enrolled spoke English, 3.9 percent spoke an Asian language and 3.2 percent spoke Spanish, although officials expect the number of non-English speakers to rise.

— Four major insurers — Anthem Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield of California, Kaiser Permanente and Health Net — accounted for 96 percent of all individual health plans being selected.

— There was no breakdown for the types of plans that were most popular. Plans are designated as bronze, silver, gold and platinum under the Affordable Care Act, with the cheapest of those having lower premiums but higher deductibles.

— The areas with the highest percentage of people signing up for coverage were Los Angeles County, San Diego County, Orange County, the Inland Empire counties of Riverside and San Bernardino, and the greater Sacramento region.

— The number of people selecting individual policies on the exchange had grown to nearly 80,000 as of Tuesday.

Policy cancelations

— Of the 1.1 million Californians whose policies are being discontinued, nearly two-thirds, or 590,000 will not qualify for a subsidy under the health insurance exchange, meaning those customers could see steep increases in their monthly premiums.

— Starting Monday, a hotline, 855-857-0445, will be available to answer questions about potential premium increases for those whose older polices are being canceled.

— As part of its decision Thursday not to extend those policies, the Covered California board also agreed to extend the current open enrollment period for policies that start in the new year to Dec. 23 from Dec. 15 and extend the payment deadline to Jan. 5.

— Covered California will work with health insurance companies to send notices to customers affected by policy cancellations explaining their options under the new health care law.


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