Thanks to a twitter exchange, I decide to check out the shop/comparison tool at the Covered California site (yes, it does work!) I entered in the following information: age 29, 1 person in the household, $40,000 annual income, zip code 92618 (Los Angeles area).
These were the cheapest plans:
So a single person age 29 in the L.A. area earning $40,000 gets no subsidy and must pay the full price. For that person, the cheapest plan on Covered California is the $190 Bronze plan (if there is a cheaper catastrophic plan, it doesn’t appear on that part of the website.)
I then went to ehealthinsurance.com and entered the same information plus specified that I was “male.” Here are the two cheapest plans on ehealthinsurance.com:
In total there were 13 plans on ehealthinsurace.com (a PDF file showing the full results is here.) I then changed the gender setting on ehealthinsurance.com to female since women are usually charged more for health insurance on the individual market. There are still ten plans cheaper than the $190 Bronze plan on Covered California (pdf here). And the cheapest was also $94.
To get a plan on Covered California for only $94, a 29-year-old in the L.A. area has to qualify for a subsidy of $96 a month. Only people making about $26,050 a year or less will qualify for that amount of subsidy.
So there you have it. If you are on the individual market, have one of the plans that is less than $190 a month and make much more than $26,000 a year, you are going to experience some “rate shock.”