Employer-sponsored health insurance plan deductibles rising faster than premiums

The amount of premiums paid by individuals for employer-sponsored health insurance plans rose by 203 percent between 1999 and 2015, which outpaced inflation and workers’ earnings during that same time. However, premium growth for family coverage appeared to slow in recent years while deductibles continued to rise rapidly, as reflected in an infographic produced by a partnership between the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the Kaiser Family Foundation that charted recent trends in employer-sponsored health insurance premiums.

Premiums and deductibles. The growth in premiums for family coverage has slowed in recent years from an average of 11 percent per year between 1999 and 2005, to five percent per year between 2005 and 2015. Additionally, both single and family coverage premiums increased by four percent over the past five years. During that same time, however, individual coverage deductibles increased by 67 percent, which is markedly faster than increases in both premiums and workers’ wages. Premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance plans were also found to vary greatly, with eight percent of workers enrolled in family plans that were worth more than $24,000 annually, while four percent of workers were enrolled in plans worth less than $11,000.

Cadillac tax. More than half of large employers were found to have conducted analyses to determine whether their offered plans would be subject to the so-called “Cadillac tax,” which was established under Section 9001 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and imposes an excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans starting in 2020. Thirteen percent of large employers took steps to avoid the tax by either changing plan coverage or cost-sharing.

SOURCE: www.kff.org