Public Health Plans To Compete With Private Plans in California
Public health plans administered by counties cover 2.5 million residents in California, and public plans will compete with private plansÂ in the state's health insurance exchange,Â KQED/Kaiser Health News reports.
California residents participating in the government-run plans typically go to public health clinics and county hospitals for care. Some county plans also contract with private physicians and research hospitals.
The federal health reform law requires states to establish health insurance exchanges by 2014 in an effort to expand insurance coverage.
Discussion of Public Plans
Some private insurers in the state oppose the public plans. In 2010, Anthem Blue Cross worked to bar public plans from the state's insurance exchange.
Anthony Wright -- executive director of Health Access -- said, "Certainly, there are some health plans that didn't like the idea of having to compete with these public plans," adding, "Especially ones that, having come out of the Medicaid program, are used to providing care at cheaper rates."
Sumi Sousa -- officer of policy development at the San Francisco Health Plan -- said that government-run plans could have to pay health care providers more under the insurance exchange. Sousa added that some commercial plans can spread out their costs over a broader network than county-run plans might have.
County plan managers said they will offer low-cost services and a robust network of physicians and hospitals (Varney, KQED/Kaiser Health News, 1/12).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.