Workers have to pay more upfront for care

 As employers struggle to tame health care's market power, they have used the tools of less generous coverage — higher deductibles, copays, and coinsurance — to offset some of the rising premiums.

Workers are increasingly finding their health insurance doesn't feel like insurance.

The average single worker's deductible has tripled since 2006, and 30% of all companies now have annual deductibles of $2,000 or more, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

  • The average deductible for individual workers was almost $1,700 in 2021, according to KFF.
  • More than half of working families in high-deductible plans had deductibles of at least $5,000.
  • Federal law now outlaws most types of surprise bills, but workers could still face huge and unexpected costs depending on their network of hospitals and doctors.

 Employees who face the highest out-of-pocket medical costs are those who work in industries that often don't offer insurance like food service, retail, and hospitality.

  • Those industries disproportionately employ Black and Hispanic workers, and those workers are most vulnerable to being exposed to COVID-19.

The pandemic disrupted nearly every facet of health care. But it hasn't changed the way hospitals, doctors, drug companies, and other health care firms continue to charge employer health plans — and workers — whatever they want.

"The big honking problem is the prices that are being paid in the commercial sector," said Mark Miller, the former head of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission who is now at Arnold Ventures.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post