Recently, a friend casually mentioned to me that his family finances were being strained by healthcare costs.
His family’s annual deductible had gone up from $2,500 to $12,500.
Think about that for a moment … a 10-grand bump in out-of-pocket healthcare costs before the insurance even kicked in (with co-pays, of course).
The discussion piqued my curiosity, and I did some digging to put my friend’s predicament in perspective … what I found was surprising (and certainly under-reported in the main stream media)
Every year, the Kaiser Family Foundation does a comprehensive survey of healthcare costs.
The latest is the 2014 Kaiser Report.
Here are some highlights (or lowlights, depending on your perspective).
In 2014, the average employer-provided family health insurance policy cost almost $17,000 …. an increase of about 27% since 2009 (the last pre-ObamaCare year).
Note: Approximately 60% of Americans are covered by employer-provided plans
In 2014, the employee-paid part of of the average family health insurance policy was $4,823 … that’s about 29% of the total premium amount. The rest is paid by employers.
The employee-paid part of of the average family health insurance policy has been steadily increasing … but note the step-up when ObamaCare was passed.
One explanation: in effect, employers passed along the bulk of the added costs of mandated coverage increases to employees.
Bottom line: employees are paying about $1,300 more annual for their family’s health insurance since ObamaCare was enacted … an increase of almost 40%.
Employees and employers are sharing health insurance premiums at roughly historical rates … i.e. after the 2010 step-up to absorb ObamaCare coverage mandates, the rate has remained flat.
The portion of workers with annual deductibles — what consumers must pay before insurance kicks in — rose from 55% eight years ago to 80% today. That is, about half of families who didn’t have deductibles before, now have them.
About half of the employees who now have deductibles, have deductibles over $1,000 … half of them (about 20% of the total) have deductibles greater than $2,000.
On average, family plan deductibles are now about $2,500 … about double what they were pre-IbamaCare.
Putting just those two pieces together — the increased employee-paid part of premiums and the increased deductibles — means that an average family covered by an employer plan is now paying about $2,500 MORE out-of-pocket for healthcare than they did pre-ObamaCare … a $5,000 difference versus the promise of a $2,500 cut.
And, that doesn’t even consider co-pays — which have roughly doubled on average, direct tax increases, and indirect tax increases (e.g. on medical devices).
My friend’s case of a $10,000 bump in his deductible may be an outlier … but, directionally indicative.
Lots of chatter about helping the middle class.
Looks like this one moves in the wrong direction.
Rich folks can absorb the increases without breaking a sweat.
Poor folks get covered with subsides.
It’s the folks in the middle that get hammered.