News & Events

Fast Facts About CalPERS Health Benefits

We’re sharing the third post in a series of Fast Facts for CalPERS members.

CalPERS releases the annual Facts at a Glance each fiscal year to provide members, stakeholders, and the public with a wide range of data and information about the state of the system.

Here are some important facts about our health benefits program:

  • CalPERS is the largest public employer purchaser of health benefits in California and the second largest employer purchaser in the nation after the federal government. In 2021, we spent $10.2 billion to purchase health benefits for 1.5 million members.
  • Out of the 1.5 million total covered lives for health benefits, 58% are state members, 28% are public agency members, and 14% are school members.
  • Our 2023 overall Medicare and Basic (non-Medicare) rate increased an average of 6.75%. Cost drivers for the overall 2023 premium increase include medical inflation, pharmaceutical inflation, and buydown adjustments to premiums made in 2022.
  • Close to 1,200 employers contract with us for health benefits, while we have more than 2,800 employers that contract for retirement benefits.
  • We’ve saved approximately $8 million annually since 2011 through innovative health care approaches. This includes optimizing our reference pricing program for value-based medical procedures in our self-funded PPO basic plans.
  • The average out-of-pocket cost for health care services and prescription drugs that CalPERS members paid in 2021 was $326.
  • Between 2012 and 2021, total enrollment in CalPERS health plans has increased by 11.3% over 10 years.

Learn more about CalPERS health benefits by reading Facts at a Glance on Health Benefits (PDF) and our Health Benefits Program Annual report (PDF). You can also read our Facts at a Glance on Pension & Retirement (PDF), Investment & Pension Funding (PDF), and About CalPERS (PDF).