HIPC: Announces 4.3% Rate Hike For Small Businesses
The Health Insurance Plan of California, a state-sponsored health insurance pool for small businesses with 2-50 workers, announced last week that premiums will rise an average of 4.3% for 1998-1999. HIPC Executive Director Patricia Steinbarth noted that the higher rates are "well below nationwide and statewide projections of double-digit increases for the industry" and below the HIPC rates offered to California employers in 1993. She noted that four of HIPC's 23 health plans "actually lowered their rates, and most of the plans experienced moderate increases." "Given the widely reported economic pressure on some HMOs, we are delighted that our rates remain very competitive and that we still offer an unequaled array of health plans," Steinbarth said. Since it was established in 1993, HIPC has enrolled 8,000 small businesses accounting for 137,000 members. In the past three years, HIPC has increased membership by 56%. The rate increases announced last week take effect July 1 (HIPC release, 4/17).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.