First Time Greater Than $400 Deductable for Employer Health Insurance

For the first time the majority of workers who have employer provided health care will have to pay $400 deductibles are greater. Associated Press:

For the first time, most of the American workforce is expected to have health insurance deductibles of $400 or more, the consulting firm said in a report released to The Associated Press.

Deductibles are the annual amount a patient pays out of pocket for care before insurance coverage starts. They are generally separate from co-payments and coinsurance.

Two years ago, only 25 percent of companies participating in the annual survey said they asked employees to pay deductibles of $400 or more. That grew to 43 percent in 2010 and is expected to pass 50 percent next year.

Employees who are asked to pay more through things like higher deductibles help keep cost growth in check because they use less health care.

This is from PricewaterhouseCoopers, although I don't think most of us believed costs or reigning in insurance companies happened in any way with health care reform.

Two years ago, only 25 percent of companies participating in the annual survey said they asked employees to pay deductibles of $400 or more. That grew to 43 percent in 2010 and is expected to pass 50 percent next year.

Medical costs have been rising way past the rate of inflation for some time.

Individual policies are much worse, with $10,000 deductibles and little covered.

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offtopic but ARBs increase cancer risk by 1.5%

These are blood pressure medications in the ARB class and there is a new study, which of course big pharma is trying to debunk, showing a 1.5% cancer risk increase.

It sure seems to me Medical Doctors and big Pharma are not in the business of saving lives anymore but they sure are in the business of making money.

Anyone notice that we could use a study on how many lives are saved when a nation has socialized, not for profit medical/dental vs. this. We have life expectancy numbers quoted all of the time, but per year, what's the rate of screw ups, deaths, disfigurements and the rest of these things, attributed to someone making a buck off of someone claiming they are providing medical care vs. a socialized medicine country?

We know the costs themselves are much lower in socialized medicine nations but what's the above?

(and yes, considering our government incompetent, ineffective government, I do understand the argument against government run anything, on the other hand, ya have to look to the VA and Medicaid/Medicare as good examples of socialized medicine in the U.S.)

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want to read some spin

A headline buzz here claims medical costs are slowing...
just crap, it's 9% for 2011 "down" from 2010. That's outrageous to have these kind of increasing costs, way past inflation every year. Misleading "article" title of the day.

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There goes my raise ...

Unfortunately the facts of increasing medical costs - costs that were normally covered by employers/insurance/medicare - are not being factored into U.S. income statistics.

If I received a $1000 raise this year, but my medical insurance increased $600 per year ($50 more out of my monthly paycheck) and higher copays resulted in an additional $150 in out-of-pocket medical expenses, then that $1000 raise actually becomes a $250 raise.

If the employer had covered all of the increased medical costs then I would have received a much smaller wage increase.

My point is that I don't believe government statistics that track wages take increased medical costs into account. Thus, it might appear Americans are taking home more pay - and the politicians and Chamber of Commerce might tout how workers are so much better off ... when all that's happening is that medical costs are being shifted from employers to employees.

So be skeptical the next time you read about average worker pay increases.

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