Fixing Healthcare By Fixing Prices

Our clients frequently ask me why insurance rates keep going up every year with no end in sight. And it’s easy to blame the insurance companies. But, when you take a closer look, it’s actually the COST of providing health care services that determines everything—and recently, a California lawmaker unveiled a proposal calling for the state to set health care prices in the commercial insurance market.

Supporters of the legislation, called the Health Care Price Relief Act, say California has made major strides in expanding health insurance coverage, but recent changes haven’t addressed the cost increases squeezing too many families. To remedy this, Assembly Bill 3087 calls for an independent, nine-member state commission to set health care reimbursements for hospitals, doctors and other providers in the private-insurance market serving employers and individuals.

The bill faces formidable opposition from physician groups and hospitals (who are pretty happy with the status quo). The California legislation envisions a system similar to the rate-setting done for public utilities. The proposal also borrows from Maryland, which has set prices for hospital services since the 1970s.

“We have given free rein to medical monopolies — to insurers, doctors and hospitals — to charge out-of-control prices,” said Sara Flocks, policy coordinator at the California Labor Federation, which is co-sponsoring the bill, at the Monday news conference. “It’s not that we go to the doctor too much. It’s because the price is too much.”

Now, this bill may not fix the problem, but it does something that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) never did. It actually addresses the cost of health care and attempts to lock it down. To rule your world, you need to find new ways to address your company’s health care costs. My team of experts is standing by and ready to help you navigate this complex, confusing and ever-changing world of employee benefits and health care insurance!

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California Aims To Tackle Health Care Prices In Novel Rate-Setting Proposal

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