Covered California successfully held down premium costs: study

Covered California successfully held down premium costs: study

California's approach to health care marketplace has successfully managed to hold premium costs down, a new study published in the May edition of Health Affairs.

The study, conducted at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health in partnership with NY University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, found that Covered California's selection of health insurers held down premium costs for customers.

The researchers noted that Covered California is one of the few Obamacare marketplaces in the United States that directly negotiates health insurance premiums with insurers.

Richard Scheffler, professor of health economics & public policy at UC Berkeley, said, "Covered California is one of the few ACA marketplaces that directly negotiates premiums with insurers. Our study suggests that these negotiations successfully constrained premiums during the early years of the marketplaces."

The researchers examined the growth in health-insurance premiums during 2014 to 2015 in two state-based ACA marketplaces, viz. Covered California and New York State of Health. While NY allowed all willing insurers to join the marketplace; California selected just 12 insurers to participate, based on rates and rejected 20 other insurers.

Funded by the Nicholas C. Petris Center, Consumer Welfare at the UC Ferkeley School of Public Health, and the Commonwealth Fund, the study concluded that the Golden State's approach worked better in hold premium costs down.