More than ten years ago, California established maximum limits on the number of patients that could be assigned to a nurse at one time and the results have been universally positive. Recent studies have shown that patients in Massachusetts receive less time with their nurses, resulting in higher rates of complications and readmissions and longer wait times than in California.
Between 1991 and 2014, California’s average annual healthcare costs grew by 4.6%, putting the state near the bottom of the list in terms of cost increases (44th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia). Massachusetts’ average annual growth rate of 5.2% was above the national average (4.9%) and well above the California average.
In 2014 alone, the national average for healthcare spending was 7% greater than in California, and Massachusetts expenditures per capita were 40% greater than California spending.
Costs to Employees and Employers
Workers in California paid $179 less per year in healthcare premiums than the national average and $524 less than their Massachusetts counterparts. The total annual premium cost of health insurance for Massachusetts residents is $520 more than the national average and $567 more than the cost for California residents’ health insurance premiums.
The data for family plans is slightly different. Employer contributions at the national level and in both Massachusetts and California are similar, but the cost to employers in real dollars is quite different. Employers in California paid nearly $1,274 less in healthcare premiums per employee than employers in Massachusetts.
When comparing the cost of employee contributions to family plans across all states, Massachusetts workers paid more than workers in 29 other states. Workers in California who contributed about the same percentage to the cost of their family plans as workers in Massachusetts paid $223 less than Bay State residents in 2016.
The total cost of healthcare premiums for Massachusetts family plans in 2012 was 5th in the nation, and $1,497 more per enrolled employee than in California, which ranked 30th.