Northstate family uncertain as insurance rates rise


REDDING, Calif. - Thousands of Northern Californians are insured with Covered California. The rural counties of northern California will see some of the highest insurance rate increase in the state in 2018.

Insurance broker, Russell Hudson, said the high increase in rates is based on population sizes. That means rural areas have higher increases compared to metropolitan areas.

"We have less doctors, people are more spread out and also you have less people enrolled," said Hudson. "I mean, I can see where they can raise rates there because they have less of a pool."

Last year rates increased by 13 percent. Hudson said that the rate increases are a side effect of having more people on health insurance due to the Affordable Care Act. Some people who only got insurance because of the act have not had health care for years. As a result, many have a list of things they need to treat, causing rates to increase.

Increased insurance rates can be difficult, especially for people who are just getting by. Laura and Calvin Ford are both insured with Covered California.

"If I was a single person and if I had an apartment, I would lose everything because I can't afford it on what I am making now and pay for insurance," said Laura.

Laura has Parkinson's Disease and the medication can be very expensive.

"She takes, I think, several medications," said Calvin. "One medication is $300 alone every month."

Calvin said that if insurance rates continue to go up, they might have to go by uninsured.

"If it goes up like people are saying, we are going to have to drop insurance," said Calvin. "We won't have insurance we won't be able to afford her medication. Then we have a funeral."

Many insured with Covered California are eligible for subsidies but the Ford's don't qualify.

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