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Health care reform law subsidy cuts Calif. premiums nearly 75%

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Federal health reform law premium subsidies have slashed the cost of coverage for eligible lower-income individuals obtaining policies in the California exchange, according to an analysis released Thursday.

The analysis, Covered California, found that those receiving the subsidies paid an average of $157 a month for coverage. Without the subsidy, eligible individuals would have paid an average of $594 a month for the same coverage.

In addition, the analysis found that that 85% of enrollees leaving the exchange remain insured — 44% through employment-based coverage, 16% through the state's Medicaid program, 13% through individual coverage purchased outside the exchange and 11% from other sources.

Just 15% of those who dropped exchange coverage became uninsured.

“The data reveal that Covered California is not an end point for every consumer. Rather it is part of their ongoing journey of ensuring they have health insurance, often moving from one source of coverage to another,” Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said in a statement.

With just over 1.3 million enrollees as of June, Covered California is the largest state exchange set up under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It is the second-largest of all ACA-authorized exchanges, topped only by the Florida exchange's 1.42 million enrollees.