Trends and Variability in Individual Insurance Products in California

Despite Changes in Insurance Products Available Between 1997 and 2002, the Actuarial Value of Coverage Has Remained Nearly Constant

Published in: Health Affairs - Web Exclusive, Sep. 24, 2003, p. W3-449-W3-459

by Melinda Beeuwkes Buntin, Jose J. Escarce, Kanika Kapur, Jill M. Yegian, M. Susan Marquis

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This paper examines recent trends in benefits and premiums for individual health insurance products purchased by Californians. There is much variability in the coverage available in the individual insurance market, with correspondingly wide variability in premiums. Despite concerns about increased consumer cost sharing, the average share of health spending covered by these products has remained constant between 1997 and 2002. Whether this trend can continue in the face of higher health costs is unclear.

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