In California, the state’s aim to slow the growth of health spending has resulted in a significant increase in deductibles for single-person and family health insurance plans. Between 2002 and 2022, single-person deductibles grew by 380%, while those for family plans grew by 332%. This translates to an average annual increase of 8.7% and 7.8%, respectively.
Despite this substantial rise in deductibles, consumers may not feel an immediate impact as the state’s focus is on slowing healthcare spending rather than reducing it. However, over time, this slower growth could have a positive impact on individuals who may see a reduction in their premium contribution.
However, this approach to capping healthcare spending based on household income has faced criticism from California providers. They argue that this method does not take into account the costs they incur while providing care, such as inflation, pharmaceutical costs, and natural increases driven by an ageing population. Ignoring these drivers could potentially lead to reduced access and poorer quality of care for patients. For instance, Ben Johnson, vice president of policy at the California Hospital Association, warned that healthcare providers may be forced to cut back on care or face penalties if they do not receive adequate funding to cover these costs.