SACRAMENTO, CA – Covered California™ today announced 13 diverse health insurance plans that will offer in 2014, affordable, quality health care coverage to millions of Californians. The plans reflect a mix of large non-profit and commercial plan leaders, along with well-known Medi-Cal and regional plans. The tentative selection of health plans is subject to a rate review by state regulators. It is impossible to make a direct comparison of these rates to existing premiums in the commercial market because in 2014, there will be new standard benefit designs under the Affordable Care Act, and the actual change in an individual’s premium will depend on the person’s current insurance coverage. However, Covered California believes that a valuable frame of reference for its premiums, is comparing them to the small employer market in California. Both the small employer market and Covered California are competitive markets, and offer guaranteed issue- you cannot be denied for pre-existing condition. The rates submitted to Covered California for the 2014 individual market ranged from two percent above to 29 percent below the 2013 average premium for small employer plans in California’s most populous regions. This is impressive since the 2014 products include doctor visits, prescriptions, hospital stays and more essential benefits; protecting consumers from the “gimics and gotchas” of many insurance policies. “This is a home run for consumers in every region of California,” said Peter V. Lee, Executive Director of Covered California. “Our active negotiating will not only benefit potential enrollees to Covered California, but will benefit all Californians by making health care affordable,” he said. Additionally, there is financial protection like a maximum out-of-pocket cost of $6,350 which will dramatically reduce the chance of someone going bankrupt because of medical bills not covered by insurance.