Skinner Recommends Covered CA Board Adopt Plan to Lower Health Care Costs
California state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, today issued the following statement about Covered California’s upcoming decision that could significantly expand access to affordable health care by reducing the copay costs for office visits, lab tests and prescriptions for Covered California enrollees:
“California has the opportunity this week to continue to be a national leader on health care by greatly reducing costs through Covered California, the state’s health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act, and truly make health coverage affordable for families. Thanks to the recent enactment of the federal Inflation Reduction Act and actions taken by Gov. Newsom and the state Legislature in the 2022-23 state budget, Covered California has the opportunity to dramatically slash copays for medical office visits, lab tests, and prescription medication. Covered California also can reduce deductibles to zero for its most affordable health care plans.
“Through Gov. Newsom’s leadership, California is leading the nation when it comes to expanding access to affordable health care. The 2022-23 state budget made California the first state to provide access to health coverage for all residents, regardless of immigration status. And now Covered California has the opportunity to strengthen its leadership position by greenlighting the important health care proposal when its board of directors meets this Thursday.”
This game-changing proposal, which would be funded through a $304 million allocation included in the 2022-23 state budget, would reduce:
- Copays for office visits by 33%
- Copays for specialist visits and lab tests by 15-20%
- Out-of-pocket costs for prescriptions by 20-40%
- Deductibles for Covered California “Silver” plans, which can be as high as $4,750, to zero.
“Many Californians forgo necessary health care, or coverage altogether, because of high deductibles and copays. According to the Berkeley Labor Center, an estimated 630,000 Californians who are eligible for financial help through Covered California are currently uninsured. I urge the approval of the plan to significantly reduce costs so that low- and moderate-income families can afford coverage and receive this first-in-the-nation relief.”
Sen. Skinner represents the 9th Senate District, is chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.