California Workers Face Higher Out-of-Pocket Costs

California workers are less likely to be offered employer-based coverage compared to recent years. Also, those who are covered pay more in premiums and cost sharing, according to a survey by the California HealthCare Foundation. The survey provides an overview of the landscape leading up to implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014. Workers may continue to see costs rise next year. More than 40% of firms are likely to increase what workers pay for their premiums in the coming year, and 34% plan to increase employees’ deductibles. However, the 2013 numbers may not signal important trends since the survey was conducted right before the ACA went into effect.
The following are some key findings:

•  Sixty-nine percent of California employers offered coverage in 2000 compared to 61% in 2013.

•  Premiums in California have risen 185% since 2002, which is more than five times the state’s inflation rate.

•  The average monthly premium for single coverage was $572 in 2013, compared to $490 nationally. The average for family coverage was $1,442 compared to $1,363 nationally.

•  California workers paid an average of 22% of the total premium for single coverage and 33% for family coverage in 2013, significantly higher shares than the previous year.

•  One in four California firms experienced reduced benefits or increased cost sharing in the last year.

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Last Updated 01/19/2022

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