April 15, 2024 | Updates

ICYMI: State Public Option Plans Have Failed to Meet Promises 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This past week, the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future released new research evaluating the state public option plans in Washington, Colorado, Nevada, and Minnesota. The research finds that they have failed to deliver significant premium reductions and attract consumers due to the trade-offs between reimbursement rates and premiums. The failure to address this conflict, inherent in public option plans, highlights the fundamental flaws that will keep such public option plans from delivering on their promises to lower costs or expand access.       

Fierce Healthcare’s Noah Tong covered the latest research exclusively. Read below for highlights… 

State public option plans don’t reduce premiums, result in low enrollment: industry-backed study 

Fierce Healthcare | Noah Tong  

“States with public options fail to curb premium spending and fail to meet reimbursement rate targets, the analysis contends. 

“Public option advocates believe widespread implementation will reduce premiums and expand coverage. State public option plans rely on insurers to administer plans. 


“As a result, public option plans in Washington and Colorado enroll less than 1% of their states’ populations. 

“Nevada’s public option does not begin until 2026, though projections indicate the state will have to cut hospital reimbursement rates and establish rules on insurers’ admin costs to meet premium reduction goals. 

“The study suggests states turn their efforts toward reinsurance programs, arguing these programs do better at reducing premiums because enrollment is not limited to state-sponsored plans.” 

Read the full story here.  

View the full findings of the “Promised Unmet: The Early Experience of State Public Option Plans” here.   

Data continues to show public option plans at any level fail to expand access to affordable, high-quality health care coverage. Lawmakers in Congress need to focus on solutions that build on and improve what’s working in health care, not start over.   



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