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CalPERS Raises Health Premium Rates

Aired 6/13/12 on KPBS News.

More than a million people in the California Public Employees’ Retirement System should expect to see their health premiums rise next year by an average of about 30 dollars a month.

More than a million people in the California Public Employees’ Retirement System should expect to see their health premiums rise next year by an average of about 30 dollars a month.

CalPERS approved a rate increase today of just under 10 percent for all health plans in 2013. For some policies it will be less, for others more.

Dr. Gerry Kominksi of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research says he was shocked to see the size of the increase. “That is an increase that is considerably more than the economy is growing. And to me it’s evidence that even a volume purchaser like CalPERS isn’t effective in controlling this rapid growth of health care spending.”

But CalPERS says not all of the increase is due to health care costs. It says rates for 2013 will be higher than normal because some rate relief measures, like federal reimbursements, are no longer available.

The 2012 rate increase averaged at a little over 4 percent.

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