Employees share of health insurance costs keeps growing

More than half of employees this year have a health insurance policy of $1,000 or more

More than half of employees this year have a health insurance policy with a deductible of $1,000 or more, according to a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

That’s part of a sustained trend of companies pushing more and more of the costs of healthcare onto employees, according to an NPR report. Health insurance premiums for families covered by employer insurance plans rose an average of 3% this year. That may not sound like much – but it’s outpacing inflation, meaning employees find themselves taking home less in term of actual purchasing power, NPR reported.

“There’s been a gradual sea change in what insurance is for most Americans, from more comprehensive coverage to skimpier coverage, Kaiser Family Foundation President Drew Altman told NPR.
The Kaiser survey showed that premiums have spiked 20% since 2011. In the previous five years, the rose 31% -- and they shot up 63% in the five years before that.

And in order to keep control of premiums, many employers are hiking deductibles, NPR reported. Employers can save about 20% on premiums just by raising the deductibles from $200 to $1,000.

Dave Anderson, CEO of HealthNow, Inc., said that’s hitting many employees hard.

“A $1,000 deductible if you’re making $100,000 is no big deal,” he told NPR. “If you’re making $30,000 a year, a $1,000 deductible is a big deal.”

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