How to improve health care affordability in California

A new report by researchers at UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education offers options for California policymakers interested in narrowing the coverage and affordability gaps for people struggling to afford premiums and out-of-pocket costs for health insurance.

The report by Ken Jacobs, chair of the Labor Center, and Laurel Lucia, director of its Health Care Program, suggests policy tweaks that could reduce health insurance costs and improve access to care.

Among their suggestions:

  • Add state premium subsidies to federal premium subsidies
  • Increase financial aid to reduce deductibles and co-payments
  • Limit the percentage of income spent on premiums for Californians earning too much for premium assistance under the Affordable Care Act
  • Set up a state reinsurance program to lower premiums
  • Extend eligibility for state-funded premium and cost-sharing help to children and spouses impacted by the ACA’s “family glitch”
Read the full news release and report