According to officials, California is continuing to rise in health insurance rates by an average estimate of 4 percent in the upcoming 2016 year.

Northern California seems to be hit with an ever higher average estimated at around 7 percent. Luckily, for consumers in San Diego County, rates will only rise by an average of 2.8 percent.

Numerous insurance carriers across Southern California will hope to stem the bleeding of the increase by actually lowering premiums for a portion of offered plans. Carriers such as, Molina Healthcare, Health Net, and Sharp Healthcare are all lowering average rates on specific plans by a rate of: 9.3 percent, 7 percent, and 2 percent respectively.

In San Diego County super healthcare giants Blue Shield of California and Blue Cross together have a total of almost 140,000 enrolled. They seek to also increase rates to specific plans by an additional 19 percent and 12 percent respectively.

Fortunately, for the Golden State’s mandatory participation in acquiring healthcare, Covered California has been allowed to cut down on overall cost due to the increase in Californians enrolled. The higher pool of people has overall allowed rates to remain more stable and less unpredictable. Note that Covered California only provides healthcare for individuals who don’t have access to such coverage through an employer plan.

Officials have yet to announce how current policyholders will be affected by the changes of the rate increase, good news however, is that Covered California continues to help consumers compare prices with its newly revamped “Shop and Compare” tool. This tool can always be accessed through Covered California. It’s a great way for newer members in the health insurance marketplace to shop for a plan that truly fits their needs. Covered California’s open-enrollment period for the 2016 year will run from November 1st through January 31st. Individuals who qualify but choose not to enroll will face a penalty in 2017 according to the Affordable Healthcare Act.