Study Challenges Governor’s Numbers on Health Coverage Costs
The California Nurses Association is maintaining its criticism of a health care overhaul plan by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) in a study scheduled to be released on Friday that questions whether the plan would provide affordable health insurance coverage, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/16).
Under the governor's plan, Medi-Cal and Healthy Families would be expanded to help provide coverage to low- and moderate-income state residents. Individuals who declined to carry insurance could face a reduction in state income tax refunds or have wages withheld.
The state will subsidize the estimated 1.2 million low-income state residents who do not qualify for coverage under Medi-Cal.
For low-income residents who are not eligible for Medi-Cal, Schwarzenegger's plan would allow them to purchase insurance through a state-run pool (California Healthline, 1/9).
According to the study, state residents who purchase coverage through the pool could pay as much as $12,320 annually in health insurance premiums and deductibles before benefits would kick in.
The Schwarzenegger administration estimates that people who buy coverage through the state pool would pay about $2,700 in premiums annually for coverage with a $5,000 deductible.
The Legislative Analyst's Office said actual costs likely would exceed the governor's projections (San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/16).