The New York Times, by Reed Abelson, Sept 22, 2015
It may not seem like much — just an extra hundred dollars or so a year.
But the steady upward creep in health insurance deductibles has easily outpaced the average increase in a worker’s wages over the last five years, according to a new analysis released on Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Kaiser, a health policy research group that conducts a yearly survey of employer health benefits, calculates that deductibles have risen more than six times faster than workers’ earnings since 2010.
“It’s a very powerful trend,” said Drew Altman, Kaiser’s chief executive.
Four of five workers who receive their insurance through an employer now pay a deductible, in which they must pay some of their medical bills before their coverage starts, according to Kaiser.
Those workers’ deductibles have climbed from a yearly average of $900 in 2010 for an individual plan to above $1,300 this year, while employees working for small businesses have an even higher average of $1,800 a year. One in five workers has a deductible of $2,000 or more.