Monthly premiums will rise by an average of 8.7 percent next year for more than 1 million people in California who buy health insurance under former President Barack Obama's health care law.
The rate increases announced Thursday by Covered California are smaller than the double-digit increases seen in each of the last two years.
Covered California executive director Peter Lee says the boost would be closer to 5 percent if not for the decision by Congress and President Donald Trump to eliminate the penalty for people who fail to carry insurance coverage.
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The penalty was credited with keeping rates down by driving healthier people into the market, but critics say nobody should be forced by buy a health plan.
The rates are subject to review by insurance regulators.