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Bay Area Headlines: Tuesday, 8/4/20, PM

Individual Health Insurance Premiums Rise, Just A Little / For At-Risk Lawmakers, Voting Remotely Could Be Illegal

Individual Health Insurance Premiums Rise, Just A Little 

Individual health insurance premiums in California will go up 0.6% next year. It's the smallest increase since the launch of the federal Affordable Care Act. State officials announced the new rates, today. They apply to the 1.5 million people who purchase health insurance through Covered California, the state insurance marketplace. Its Executive Director says the increase is lower in part because more healthier people are buying insurance during the coronavirus pandemic. Premiums increased an average of 8.5 percentage points per year from 2015 through 2019. But last year premiums went up less than 1%.

For At-Risk Lawmakers, Voting Remotely Could Be Illegal

The California Assembly has changed its rules to let lawmakers at high risk for the coronavirus vote on bills without being present in the chamber. But the Legislature's lawyers say the new rule is likely illegal, and critics warn legal challenges could cancel any bills the Legislature passes over the next month. The state Senate changed its rules in March to allow members to vote remotely during an emergency. So far, no one has.

Ben joined KALW in 2004. As Executive News Editor and then News Director, he helped the news department win numerous regional and national awards for long- and short-form journalism. He also helped teach hundreds of audio producers, many of whom work with him at KALW, today.