Health Care Deductible Rise Negates Modest Jump in Premiums

By Twedt, Steve | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), September 15, 2016 | Go to article overview

Health Care Deductible Rise Negates Modest Jump in Premiums


Twedt, Steve, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


Families who have health insurance coverage through an employer continue to see their yearly deductibles increasing, even as the monthly premiums they pay show only modest growth.

A national survey of more than 1,900 employers released Wednesday found that 83 percent of covered workers now face an average deductible of $1,478 for single coverage.

That's $159 more, or a 12 percent increase, over 2015's average deductible and $486 more since 2011, a 49 percent increase. Also, 83 percent of covered workers now pay a deductible, which represents the amount that families will pay for care before their plan coverage kicks in. That compares with 74 percent five years ago.

Annual premiums for those plans, meanwhile, rose an average of 3 percent to $18,412, which the survey authors said marks "the fifth straight year of relatively low premium growth."

Drew Altman, president and CEO of Kaiser Family Foundation in Menlo Park, Calif., said the survey shows a gradual shift among employers from providing comprehensive coverage plans to offering plans with "skimpier" coverage while shifting more of the cost to employees. …

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