Patt Morrison for February 23, 2012

Health insurance rates go up in California…again

Inha Leex Hale/Flickr

Modified health statement from February, 2011.

Health care rates in California may be rising faster than the national average, but based on the latest report card issued by the Office of the Patient Advocate, customers are more satisfied. On average, health care rates in the Golden State have risen 8-to-14 percent, far above the national figure of 3.6 percent.

Providers state that this is not simply due to inflation, but based on their past experience managing invidual claims -– apparently, healthier members have been dropping out of the market, leaving behind a pool of patients with higher costs.

In the midst of publishing these results comes another group of statistics, however: customers are actually more satisfied with their health care plans than in previous years. Kaiser Permanente received a four-star rating on the 2012 Edition of the Health Care Quality Report Card, and the Office of the Patient Advocate also singled out Aetna, Blue Shield of California, and Health Net as having improved overall member care. It’s not all roses, of course: customers feel companies could do better with treatment for lung disease, attention-deficit disorder, and drug and alcohol problems, as well as improve their cost estimates and clarification of what is actually covered.

Could it be that we’re getting what we pay for?

WEIGH IN

How do you feel about your provider and your health care plan? Click here to answer our Facebook poll.

Guests:

Pedro Morillas, legislative director, CALPIRG, California Public Interest Research Group

Patrick Johnston, president and CEO, California Association of Health Plans


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