CALPERS: Proposes 4.9% Rate Hike for HMOs
The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), the state's largest health care purchaser, said its staff recommended that the group pay average rate increases of 4.9% to HMOs in 2001, the Wall Street Journal reports. CalPERS agreed to pay an average 9.7% increase this year and 5.1% in 1999. Largely viewed as an indicator of health care trends, CalPERS' proposed rates are not as high as expected due to revisions in coverage that will increase prescription drug and doctor visit co-pays from $5 to $10 for some beneficiaries. Enrollees opting for generic medications will pay a $5 co-pay. CalPERS indicated that 98% of those beneficiaries who are on chronic drug therapy use more costly brand-name drugs. Without those changes, CalPERS officials said the average increase would have been 9.2%. The proposal will be considered by the board today (Rundle, 4/19).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.