Workers Pay Greater Share As Employers Shift Health Costs Survey Finds

first_img The Richmond Times-Dispatch: Health Insurance Premiums Rose Moderately In 2015, Deductibles Rose Sharply Despite some dire predictions, Obamacare isn’t having much of an impact on hiring by businesses so far, according to a new study. Employers with at least 100 full-time workers must offer health insurance to full-time employees who work 30 or more hours a week or pay a penalty, as of this year. This mandate will start applying to smaller companies with 50 or more full-timers in 2016. (Luhby, 9/22) Workers Pay Greater Share As Employers Shift Health Costs, Survey Finds The survey, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation), found that moderate increases in health insurance premiums masked employees’ rising out-of-pocket exposure. NPR: Rising Health Deductibles Take Bigger Bite Out Of Family Budgets 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. (Hancock, 9/22) The New York Times: Health Insurance Deductibles Outpacing Wage Increases, Study Finds Health care costs continue to rise, and workers are shouldering more of the burden. The big reason? Skyrocketing deductibles. More companies are adding deductibles to the insurance plans they offer their employees. And for those who already had to pay deductibles, the out-of-pocket outlays are growing. (Kodjak, 9/22) Kaiser Health News: Employers Shift More Health Costs To Workers, Survey Finds American workers saw their out-of-pocket medical costs jump again this year, as the average deductible for an employer-provided health plan surged nearly 9% in 2015 to more than $1,000, a major new survey of employers shows. The annual increase, though lower than in previous years’, far outpaced wage growth and overall inflation and marked the continuation of a trend that in just a few years has dramatically shifted healthcare costs to workers. (Levey, 9/22) [Kaiser Family Foundation CEO Drew] Altman calls this cost shift a “quiet revolution in health insurance,” obscured in recent years by the health care overhaul’s coverage expansion for people who don’t have coverage through work. “It’s funny, we used to think of $1,000 as a very high deductible, and now it’s almost commonplace,” he said. (Murphy, 9/22) The Connecticut Mirror: Premiums Grow Modestly For Employer Insurance Coverage, But Deductibles Grow Faster The Associated Press: Study Shows Employers Shifting More Medical Costs To Workers center_img The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Higher Deductibles Take Toll On Family Incomes, New Kaiser Family Foundation Report Says The costs of health insurance benefits have increased at a slower pace for a decade now, but that does not mean that the high costs of the U.S. health care system have become less of a burden for individuals and families. (Boulton, 9/22) The average cost of employer health coverage passed $17,000 for a family plan this year, despite continued muted growth on a percentage basis, according to a major survey. The average annual cost of an employer family plan rose 4%, to $17,545, from $16,834 last year, according to the annual poll of employers performed by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation along with the Health Research & Educational Trust, a nonprofit affiliated with the American Hospital Association. The share of the 2015 family-plan premium borne by employees was 29% of the total, the same percentage as last year. (Wilde Mathews, 9/22) The employer-sponsored insurance market has remained relatively stable overall despite the changes required by the federal health law, the authors wrote. But many employers are making or considering changes to their benefits that could bring significant changes in the coming years. Those include emphasizing wellness programs, assessing employees’ health risks – in some cases using biometric screenings that measure blood pressure, weight and other factors – and considering using private exchanges that allow employees to pick their own plans with a certain amount of money provided by the company (Levin Becker, 9/22) The Wall Street Journal: Employer Health Coverage For Family Tops $17,000 Los Angeles Times: Healthcare Costs Rise Again, And The Burden Continues To Shift To Workers It may not seem like much — just an extra hundred dollars or so a year. But the steady upward creep in health insurance deductibles has easily outpaced the average increase in a worker’s wages over the last five years, according to a new analysis released on Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Abelson, 9/22) Altman described the shift to higher deductibles, and in some cases companies previously without deductibles adopting them, as “striking.” “That explains why in our separate August Kaiser tracking poll, people named deductibles as their top health cost problem,” Altman said. “There could be a further spurt in deductibles as the ‘Cadillac tax’ goes into effect.” That tax, scheduled to go into effect in 2018, will subject high-cost health plans — those that cost more than $10,200 for single coverage and $27,000 for family coverage — to a tax of 40 percent of the excess amount. (Smith, 9/22) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. CNN Money: Obamacare Isn’t Really Killing Jobs last_img