Premium, Deductible Increases Outpace Salary Gains, Report Finds
U.S. residents with employer-sponsored coverage are spending an increasing percentage of their incomes on health insurance, despite a slowdown in overall health care spending and premium growth, according to a Commonwealth Fund report released Tuesday, Modern Healthcare reports.
For the report, researchers analyzed federal data on company health costs from 2003 to 2013.
The report found that premiums increased by 73% for families with employer-sponsored coverage and by 60% for individuals with employer-sponsored coverage. Meanwhile, median incomes increased by 16%.
Overall, average premiums as a percentage of the median income increased from 15% in 2003 to 23% in 2013 for families with employer-sponsored coverage and increased from 14% to 21% for individuals with employer-sponsored coverage.
In addition, the report found that the average deductibles for individuals with employer-sponsored coverage increased by 146% between 2003 and 2013, from $518 to $1,273. The researchers found that employers were increasingly selecting high-deductible plans, which also helped contribute to the recent slowdown in health care cost growth.
Sara Collins, a health care economist at the Commonwealth Fund and report co-author, said, "Insurers and employers should likely consider alternative benefit designs rather than just increasing deductibles every year" to help families benefit from the overall slowdown in health care cost increases (Herman, Modern Healthcare, 12/9).
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