A recent study has revealed that between 2002 and 2022, deductibles for single-person health insurance plans increased by an astonishing 380%, while those for family plans grew by 332%. This translates to an average annual increase of 8.7% and 7.8%, respectively.
Although this significant rise in deductibles may not have an immediate impact on consumers, it could have long-term consequences. While the state’s goal is to slow the growth of health spending rather than reduce it, individuals may eventually notice a difference if their premiums increase at a slower rate. However, this approach to capping healthcare spending based on household income has received criticism from California providers. They argue that this method does not take into account the costs they incur in providing care, such as inflation, pharmaceutical costs, and natural increases driven by an ageing population.
The potential consequence of ignoring these drivers could be reduced access and poorer quality of care for patients. For instance, Ben Johnson, vice president of policy at the California Hospital Association, cautioned that healthcare providers must cut back on care or face penalties if healthcare spending continues to grow unchecked. In summary, while the state’s plan may have some benefits in slowing down healthcare spending growth, it is essential to consider the long-term consequences of rising deductibles and how they affect access to quality care for patients.