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Health insurance deductible limits could be imposed

The California Assembly will vote on a bill this week that would place limits on out-of-pocket costs for high deductible health insurance plans. Consumer groups say the measure is crucial but insurance companies are urging lawmakers to vote against it. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

High deductible health insurance plans feature lower annual premiums. But consumer groups complain these plans can lead to financial ruin because they don't limit out-of-pocket expenses.

The pending Assembly measure would cap those annual expenses at five-thousand two-hundred-fifty dollars for individuals, and ten-thousand five-hundred for families.

Anthony Wright directs the non-profit group Health Access.

What these protections would do is provide some needed financial security for those people who are in such plans, so that they don't face the overwhelming bills that lead to bankruptcy and severe debt.

Insurance companies say when patients have to bear some of the actual costs of care, they become more practical consumers. Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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