Affordable Care Act
Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills
(Los Angeles Times) – Soaring deductibles and medical bills are pushing millions of American families to the breaking point, fueling an affordability crisis that is pulling in middle-class households with health insurance as well as the poor and uninsured.
In the last 12 years, annual deductibles in job-based health plans have nearly quadrupled and now average more than $1,300.
Yet Americans’ savings are not keeping pace, data show. And more than four in 10 workers enrolled in a high-deductible plan report they don’t have enough savings to cover the deductible.
One in six Americans who get insurance through their jobs say they’ve had to make “difficult sacrifices” to pay for healthcare in the last year, including cutting back on food, moving in with friends or family, or taking extra jobs. And one in five say healthcare costs have eaten up all or most of their savings.
Those are among the key findings of a Los Angeles Times examination of job-based health insurance — the most common form of coverage for working-age Americans — which has undergone a rapid transformation, requiring patients to pay thousands of dollars out of their own pockets.
The conclusions are based in part on a nationwide poll The Times conducted in partnership with the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, or KFF. Two Washington-based think tanks — the Health Care Cost Institute and the Employee Benefit Research Institute — provided supplemental analysis.
Read the full story at latimes.com