Wednesday, September 23, 2015

qotd: It’s the deductibles, stupid!

Kaiser Family Foundation
News Release
September 22, 2015
Employer Family Health Premiums Rise 4 Percent to $17,545 in 2015,
Extending a Decade-Long Trend of Relatively Moderate Increases

Single and family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose
an average of 4 percent this year, continuing a decade-long period of
moderate growth, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health
Research & Educational Trust (HRET) 2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey
released today.

The average annual premium for single coverage is $6,251, of which
workers on average pay $1,071. The average family premium is $17,545,
with workers on average contributing $4,955.

The survey also finds that 81 percent of covered workers are in plans
with a general annual deductible, which average $1,318 for single
coverage this year. Covered workers in smaller firms (three to 199
workers) face an average deductible of $1,836 this year. That's 66
percent more than the $1,105 average deductible facing covered workers
at large firms (at least 200 workers).

Since 2010, both the share of workers with deductibles and the size of
those deductibles have increased sharply. These two trends together
result in a 67 percent increase in deductibles since 2010, much faster
than the rise in single premiums (24%) and about seven times the rise in
workers' wages (10%) and general inflation (9%).

"With deductibles rising so much faster than premiums and wages, it's no
surprise that consumers have not felt the slowdown in health spending,"
Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman said.


Comment by Don McCanne

For Quote of the Day subscribers who go straight to the comment (and
many of you do), today's message is presented instantly in a single
visual - merely click on the link above and check out the graph
accompanying the news release.

In words, the graph shows that, for the past five years, inflation is
flat, workers earnings are flat, employer-sponsored health insurance
premiums are continuing to increase, and health insurance deductibles
are skyrocketing!

That explains why so many patients with "good" employer-sponsored health
plans feel that health care costs are out of control, even though we're
told they're not - their deductibles have increased at seven times the
rate of increase in their wages!

We have the wrong model of health care financing in the United States.
We need single payer.

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