David Gorn, California Healthline
Covered California officially began mailing renewal notices for its 1.1 million enrollees who signed up during the first open enrollment period, officials announced Thursday.
People who want to keep their current plan will be automatically renewed. All they need do is pay their premium by Dec. 15 to continue their coverage beginning Jan 1, said Peter Lee, executive director of the exchange. People who want to make changes have until Dec. 15 to do so.
"If you're happy with your plan, you don't need to do a thing, you just pay the bill, you're good," Lee said. "If you want to shop around, we have the tools available online or with assisters to do that. Stability and consistency are good things, but we encourage you to shop for a better policy."
Lee said the average premium rate in the exchange rose 4 percent from last year. "Some went up a little more, some actually went down, but the average doesn't matter, the individual choice is what's important. So some people will want to look around."