Study: California Pays for 95% of State Employees’ Health Costs
California paid for an average of 95% of state employees' total health care costs in 2013, compared with the national average of 92%, according to a study released Tuesday by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the MacArthur Foundation, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports (Verdin, AP/Sacramento Bee, 8/12).
Details of Study
For the study, researchers worked with the actuarial firm Milliman and used its database to examine information from 2013 that represented 2.7 million state employee households in 49 states.
The database included information on state and local governments' health coverage, such as:
- Cost-sharing arrangements;
- Employer and employee premium contributions;
- Number of enrollees;
- Total health care expenditures;
- Total premiums; and
- Other metrics.
The report is part of a series examining seven areas of states' spending on health care (Pew Charitable Trusts release, 8/12).
Nationwide, researchers found the average monthly premium for states' employee health plans was $963 in 2013, and states paid an average of 84% of the premium costs.
However, researchers noted that direct comparisons between different states is difficult because a variety of factors have to be considered, including significant differences in the costs of health care services across the U.S.
Researchers found that in California, the average monthly premium per employee was $1,092, and the state paid for an average of 77% of that cost (AP/Sacramento Bee, 8/12).
In addition, the study found that:
- 68% of state employees were enrolled in a plan with no deductible; and
- California does not offer state employees plans with deductible of $1,500 or more.
Over the past three years, California's total spending on state health plans was:
- About $239 million in 2011;
- About $246 million in 2012; and
- About $259 million in 2013 (Pew Charitable Trusts/McArthur Foundation study, 8/12).