CALPERS: Approves 9.2% Hike in Health Insurance Premiums
The California Public Employees Retirement System board voted yesterday to raise members' health care premiums by an average of 9.2% and to double the co-payment for brand-name prescription drugs. One of the nation's largest purchasers of health care, CalPERS has 1.1 million members. The drug co-payment will increase from $5 to $10 for brand-names when generic alternatives are available. CalPERS hopes the change will encourage members to use less-expensive generics and boost mail-order prescriptions. CalPERS Board of Administration President William Crist said, "We want to keep health care affordable to members and at the same time involve our members in helping to moderate runaway prescription costs" ( Bloomberg News/Los Angeles Times, 5/18). Unions representing state workers want the state to absorb the cost increases with the current budget surplus. The changes are slated to take effect Jan. 1 (AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.