A new national survey of employers found that although premiums for employer-sponsored health coverage rose modestly this year, workers are being asked to shoulder more medical expenses (Source: “Employers Shift More Health Costs To Workers, Survey Finds,” Kaiser Health News, Sept. 22, 2015).
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation survey, premiums for job-based medical insurance rose 4 percent in 2015. The average premium for single coverage rose to $6,251 while the average premium for a family plan increased to $17,545.
But deductibles — what plan members pay for care before the insurance kicks in — have been rising substantially faster than total health costs. Forty-six percent of covered workers have a deductible of at least $1,000 this year for single coverage as employers shift to “consumer-directed” plans that give members incentives to seek less-costly care. Deductibles are more than $2,000 for single coverage for almost a fifth of covered workers.
The average dollar amount of deductibles for individual plans has risen by two-thirds since 2010 while premiums have risen by only a fourth, the survey shows. Worker earnings, meanwhile, rose by 10 percent, only slightly more than overall price inflation.