Health Net of California To Offer Tiered Hospital Plan Next Month
Health Net of California next month will become the third large health insurer in the state to offer a tiered hospital plan that will require members to pay higher out-of-pocket costs at more expensive hospitals, the Sacramento Bee reports (Rapaport, Sacramento Bee, 10/16). Under tiered hospital plans, health insurers require members who receive care at more expensive hospitals to pay hundreds of dollars in additional copayments. According to health insurers, employers who decide to participate in tiered hospital plans can save as much as 20% on the cost of health insurance premiums (California Healthline, 8/19). Under the Health Net plan, members who visit the least expensive hospitals will pay about $100 per day; those who visit "medium tier" hospitals will pay between $200 and $500 per day; and those who visit the most expensive hospitals will pay between $350 and $750 per day. Patients will have to pay tiered copayments for the first four days of a hospital stay. After four days, the plan covers the cost of the stay (Rapaport, Sacramento Bee, 10/16). The plan will be available Nov. 1 to employers in California who offer HMOs to their employees, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Fong, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/16). Health Net's new plan "signals" that tiered hospital plans have become an "accepted means of shifting rising health care costs" to consumers, the Contra Costa Times reports. Blue Shield of California and PacifiCare of California launched tiered hospital plans last year (Silber, Contra Costa Times, 10/16).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.