Out-of-pocket spending increased for employees in large group plans

About one in four people (24 percent) covered by large employer plans spent more than $1,000 out-of-pocket on health care in 2015, an increase of seven percentage points from 17 percent in 2005, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.
About one in 10 people in such plans (12 percent) paid more than $2,000 out-of-pocket in 2015, a distribution that mirrors the distribution of overall health spending, according to the analysis of claims data. Dollar amounts in the analysis are inflation-adjusted to 2015 dollars.
In addition to overall trends, the analysis also examines gender and age of high spenders, as well as differences in out-of-pocket health expenditures across diseases. Kaiser found:

  • Among large-group enrollees spending more than $1,000 out-of-pocket in 2015, 59 percent were women, and 41 percent were men.
  • Older enrollees were more likely than younger enrollees to spend more than $1,000 out-of-pocket.
  • In 2015, average annual out-of-pocket spending for large-group enrollees diagnosed with common cancers ($1,510) and all circulatory diseases ($1,508) was nearly twice that for all enrollees ($778).

Between 2005 and 2015, covered workers’ average out-of-pocket costs grew 66 percent, compared to health plans’ average payment per enrollee, which rose by 56 percent. Wages, meanwhile, rose by 31 percent during that period. Overall, workers’ out-of-pocket costs rose from an average of $469 in 2005 to $778 in 2015, while average payment by health plans rose from $2,932 to $4,563.

SOURCE: www.kff.org
Visit our News Library to read more news stories.