The Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute and Catalyst for Payment Reform issued a joint report card for state laws that provide for greater transparency in health care costs. California received a D grade, fairing in the middle of the pack.
Surprisingly for such a large state that does require at least some of its organizations report, California does not make that information available to the public on the Internet.
In its introduction, the report states:
[T]he most recent survey by Mercer shows that close to two-thirds of all large employers offer a high deductible/high co-insurance health plan and that close to 20 percent of all commercially insured health plan members are enrolled in such plans. In this environment, it is only fair and logical to ensure that consumers have the necessary quality and price information to make informed decisions about where to seek health care.
High deductible/high co-insurance plans are pure insurance products that provide coverage for catastrophic financial loss. Until now, health insurance has also served as a health maintenance or service plan in covering routine and low cost procedures. As more people move to using insurance as pure catastrophic risk coverage, the ability to control costs shifts to individual consumers.
When Health Care Reform insurance requirements start being enforced in 2014, some people with low health care risk will be able to buy only catastrophic coverage without penalty.