California Providers Push Back Against Soaring Health Insurance Deductibles

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Health care costs have been on the rise in California, with deductibles for single-person plans increasing by 380% and family plans by 332% between 2002 and 2022, according to a recent study. This average yearly increase of 8.7% and 7.8%, respectively, has caused concern among consumers and experts alike.

While the state’s plan is aimed at slowing the growth of health spending, it may not have an immediate impact on consumers. However, over time, it could result in a significant difference for individuals and families. Health economist Glenn Melnick from the University of Southern California highlighted the potential impact, explaining that slower growth in premiums could lead to decreased contributions from consumers.

In response to the state’s plan to cap health care spending based on household income, representatives for hospitals and doctors have expressed criticism. They argue that the strategy does not consider the actual costs of providing care, which could ultimately lead to reduced access and poorer quality of care for patients. Additionally, they believe that the proposed cap fails to account for factors such as general inflation, rising pharmaceutical costs, and increases in spending due to the aging population.

In a letter to the board, Ben Johnson, vice president of policy at the California Hospital Association, emphasized that the proposed target overlooks the main drivers of health care spending. He warned that this approach could force health care providers to cut back on the care they provide or face penalties, ultimately impacting the overall quality of health care in the state.