Julie Appleby at Kaiser Health News writes:
“Employers are looking to reduce their exposure to rising costs, often by shifting more of the burden onto workers.
“About 18 percent of large employers say they will increase worker’s payments toward family coverage next year, and 10 percent expect to do so for individual coverage, according to Mercer. Forty-seven percent of employers have increased workers’ deductibles or copayments in the past year, and 43 percent expect to do so in the next few years, according to another survey by benefit firm Aon Hewitt. That same survey showed that workers’ average out-of-pocket costs, which include copayments and deductibles, increased nearly 13 percent in 2013, to $2,239. The benefit firm predicts that the average will rise again, to $2,470 next year.
“Partly that’s because of the rising use of so-called ‘consumer-driven’ or high-deductible plans. Such policies require consumers to pay a significant amount of their health care costs – at least $1,250 for an individual – before their insurance kicks in. They include savings accounts, where the worker can put tax-sheltered wages to cover medical costs. Some employers also contribute to those accounts. The median deductible nationally for such plans is $2,500 per individual, according to Mercer.” By Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News, ” Expect To Pay More For Your Employer-Sponsored Health Care Next Year – Kaiser Health News“