HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, reports that the California Public Employees Retirement System raised basic HMO premiums by an average 11.6 percent for 2007. According to the latest issue of California Health Plan Analysis, this is a significant setback for the state's largest purchaser of healthcare.

"Last year the increase was nine percent," said Jane DuBose, HealthLeaders-InterStudy analyst. "CalPERS announced that its various cost-control efforts were finally paying off. The state employees unions preferred a richer benefits package to lower premiums, and were able to make their influence felt. CalPERS also deferred several other difficult cost-cutting proposals. The question is, of course, 'if CalPERS doesn't have the will and power to exert downward pressure on health insurance premiums, who does?'"

By choosing to keep the rich benefits package for members, CalPERS will spend an estimated $4.9 billion for healthcare in 2007, up from $4.3 billion in 2006. In 2006, CalPERS kept average HMO rate increases to 8.7 percent by cutting 21 high-cost hospitals from its Blue Shield network for $31 million in savings and setting regional rates for public agencies that saved another $45 million, but those savings have now been accounted for.

CalPERS is the nation's third-largest purchaser of health benefits after the federal government and General Motors, providing benefits to state and public-agency employees, retirees and their dependents.

Other health plan news in California:

Kaiser Permanente is trying to maintain its top position in California by launching new products designed to appeal to small businesses, while rolling out a new pricing system in the state

About Health Plan Analysis

Health Plan Analysis identifies key health plan trends, allowing healthcare businesses to create comprehensive strategic plans and sales strategies at state and local levels.

About HealthLeaders-InterStudy

HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a company of Decision Resources, Inc. (http://www.decisionresources.com/), is the authoritative source for managed care data and analysis. For more information, please visit http://www.healthleaders-interstudy.com/.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

  For more information, contact:   Alex Jablokow   Decision Resources   781-296-2562   ajablokow@dresources.com 

SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Alex Jablokow of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2562,
ajablokow@dresources.com

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