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Study: Californians are paying less for health care

A new study says Californians are paying less for health care than other Americans because of the state´s high rate of HMO enrollment. The report released today by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation also says the percentage of California employers offering health coverage to employees remained constant between 2001 and 2002.

The study says about 65 percent of California businesses offer health coverage to their employees. That´s a bit above the national rate of 62 percent. It also says that premiums in California for both individual and family coverage are lower than the national average. Some 54 percent of Californians are enrolled in HMOs. That compares with 26 percent nationally. However – the survey also says the weak economy and rapidly rising health care costs have contributed to a 13 percent premium increase in California.

It says 61 percent of firms have increased the amount employee´s pay for coverage and 55 percent boosted the amount they pay for prescription drugs.