Employer health insurance expenses continued to rise by relatively low amounts this year, aided by moderate increases in total medical spending but also by workers taking a greater share of the costs, new research shows (Source: “Studies: Employer Costs Slow As Consumers Use Less Care, Deductibles Soar,” Kaiser Health news, Sept. 14, 2016).
Average premiums for employer-sponsored family coverage rose 3.4 percent for 2016, down from annual increases of nearly twice that much before 2011 and double digits in the early 2000s, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The leveling premium increases obscure out-of-pocket costs that are being loaded on employees in the form of higher deductibles and copayments. For the first time in Kaiser’s annual survey, more than half the workers in plans covering a single person face a deductible of at least $1,000. Deductibles for family plans are typically even higher.