May 20, 2019
Private insurers paid California hospitals more than two times as much as Medicare for similar services in 2015 and 2016, according to a study published Monday by West Health Policy Center.
The study found that private insurers paid hospitals an average 209% of Medicare, though there was wide variation across hospitals. Private insurers paid the costliest hospitals 364% of Medicare on average, while they paid the least expensive hospitals an average 89% of Medicare. The most expensive hospitals tended to be private not-for-profit hospitals, while the least costly were public hospitals.
The study comes on the heels of a report by RAND Corp. that found that private employer-sponsored health plans paid hospitals in 25 states 241% of Medicare prices on average in 2017. That study did not include California.