Proposed California measures would help create framework for direct primary care and high deductible insurance combinations
Starting this tax year, federal income tax law raises the existing deduction for medical expenses from 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income to 10 percent. California income tax law generally conforms to federal law. However, proposed California legislation, Assembly Bill 1018, would allow medical expenses to be deductible from income by a yet to be specified amount including the cost of care for elderly dependents.
Two other California bills could establish a framework for what’s known as direct primary care covered directly by consumers and not insurance. In such a model, consumers pay their own primary care costs and buy high deductible insurance policies to cover major, catastrophic events such as hospitalizations. Section 1301(a)(3) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act explicitly recognizes direct primary care medical home plans as qualified health plans eligible to be sold on state health benefit exchanges.
Assembly Bill 1028, the Patient Centered Medical Home Act of 2013, would define “medical home” and “patient centered medical home” as a health care delivery model in which a patient establishes an ongoing relationship with a primary care physician. As defined by the bill, a medical home would be a “physician-led practice team to provide comprehensive, accessible, and continuous evidence-based primary and preventative care, and to coordinate the patient’s health care needs across the health care system in order to improve quality and health outcomes in a cost-effective manner…”
Another bill, Assembly Bill 1129, would conform California law to federal tax law allowing deductions for contributions to health savings accounts used in combination with high deductible health insurance policies.