Health Insurance Deductible Rises 6 times faster than Wage
Health insurance deductible have outpaced the average worker’s wage, six times more since 2010. A new study by a medical policy research group – Kaiser F. Foundation, shows that deductibles paid by workers have risen for individual health insurance plan, from $900 in 2010 to $1300 in 2015. The employee health insurance deductible, from small business rises a year to about $1,800, or even $2000 on the average.
It’s a very powerful trend, said Drew Altman, Kaiser’s chief executive. Advocates for consumer protection, worry that as the country’s largest health insurance provider merge together, the costs becomes higher for consumers.
These employee insurance plans are examined by Kaiser Survey, while on Tuesday, a Senate hearing scrutinized the mergers.
According to Mr. Altman, low premium policies sold through state exchanges under affordable health care, rely on higher health insurance deductible. So many employees have traditionally, within the law, increased their health insurance deductible, to reduce associated cost.
Employees can now shoulder more medical cost, as the law may be encouraging more changes by employees. The new tax law, called Cadillac tax for high-price medical plans, is making employers consider increasing health insurance deductible for employees. The law faces opposition and could go into effect in 2018: coffee maker with grinder
The high health insurance deductible, raises questions about the motives behind the law, as employees with chronic and expensive conditions may find it difficult to pay medical bills.
In general, individual and family medical insurance are increasing modestly. Kaiser noted an increase of 4 percent on the average this year, well below its cost decade ago. But as employers are relieved from the burden, the middle class are feeling the brunt of stagnated wages and a steady rise of health insurance deductible.
People are now subjected to difficult choices under affordable medical plans. For example, a 52yr old teacher, Berth Landrum saw her family’s plan, health insurance deductible rise to $3,300 a year. Mrs. Landrum, whose insurance coverage came from her husband’s employer, has delayed having an M.R.I. scan because of the potential cost. They (family) are much concerned about the potential debt they might owe, if something eventually happens. With their current health insurance plan, they now pay more towards health care cost.
It’s really scary, Ms. Landrum said.
Employers feels that the employees’ stake in requesting for a test or choosing a doctor, justifies the higher health insurance deductible.
The employers “are putting more decision-making authority in the employees’ hands,” said Robert Reiff – Head of an insurance brokerage firm. Many insurance companies are mostly offering high deductible health plan with a savings account. To help pay medical bills, employees or employer can fund those accounts.
Online tools like cost calculator and a direct access to a doctor/nurse (through a computer or telephone), are now been provided to employees, by health insurance companies, to help make better decisions and possible costs.
Most consumers feel they are healthy and might unlikely accrue hefty medical bills. They are a bit skeptical about paying a higher health insurance deductible; just like Matt Freedman – 34, who choose deductible of $6,000, only to have a hospital stay after developing a serious infection after a minor surgery. “I knew it was a risky plan,” he said.
The state marketplaces are also not free from higher health insurance deductible.
Now I don’t even want to go to the doctor, says 27 old Rebecca Bullard.
After cracking a rib, she got worried about the potential cost of visiting a doctor, though she had a health insurance plan with $2,500 health insurance deductible.
Employers and policy makers are also getting concerned, about people with serious health issues forgoing medical care.
It may be tamping down on unnecessary care, but we’re seeing a lot of evidence of skimping on necessary care, said Sara R. Collins, the health care coverage vice president.
Survey conducted by a non-profit group, shows that the 45% of private health insurance with five percent health insurance deductible, have decided, when sick to avoid the doctor or go for a test. A recent report by Truven Health Analytics, shows companies experiencing lower utilization, when health insurance deductible are high. Screenings for cervical cancer and mammograms are getting fewer, even though worker’s preventive care is covered by a high deductible health plan. As a result, David Lansky from the Pacific Business Group on Health, reports that most of the companies he works with are now reluctant in raising health insurance deductible higher.