Medical costs shift to workers in employer-sponsored health coverage: Survey

Says deductibles increase 7 time faster than wages
By Tom Murphy
||Last Updated: 09/29/2015

(AP) — Employers are leaving a bigger share of medical costs to the workers who use their health insurance, and benefits experts see few signs of this trend slowing.

An annual Kaiser Family Foundation survey finds that the average deductible for workers with single coverage now tops US$1,000, up from only US$303 in 2006. Deductibles are the amount a patient has to pay for care before most insurance coverage begins.

Kaiser says deductibles have climbed nearly seven times faster than wages since 2010.

Employers raise deductibles to help control the premium, or cost of coverage, which has been rising for years.

Kaiser researchers say they expect deductibles to continue growing. Companies still will be intent on controlling costs to counter a tax on expensive benefit plans that starts in 2018.

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