Health Services Board Approves New Co-Pays

On January 12, the Health Service Board approved increases in member co-pays for the six-month benefits period, July 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to approve these changes on February 1, 2012 at the Budget Committee meeting. Supervisor Carmen Chu, Chair of Budget Committee, articulated reasons for the 6-month change. 

The Health Service Board claimed they are increasing co-pays to help contain the total health premium costs paid jointly by City employers, employees and retirees. Co-pays with both the Kaiser and Blue Shield Plan will increase by $5 for doctors’ visits, and in some cases double for surgery co-pays. There will also be increases in member contributions for their prescription medication. 

The increases were justified by a survey conducted by The Health Service Board of the ten counties in California with the largest populations, other than the City and County of San Francisco, to determine the average contribution made by each county toward providing health care plans, exclusive of dental or optical care. The survey found that there was an average increase of 3.78 percent in Fiscal Year 2012-13, over the amount contributed by employers toward health care plans in Fiscal Year 2011-12. 

At the February 1, 2012 Budget Committee meeting, The Board of Supervisors also ratified the Health Service Board’s decision to use $5.2 million in supplemental aid to go to Blue Shield, who has experienced the attrition of members who have left their health plan for Kaiser.

For more in-depth information about the proposed plan changes for Kaiser, Blue Shield, and City Plan, as well as the Board’s decision to “bail out” Blue Shield, see the documents below:


Blue Shield Final Rates

Kaiser Final Rates

Blue Shield Stabilization Rates

City Plan Final Budget Rates

Dental & Vision Costs