According to analysis out Wednesday from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust, deductibles are up nearly 50 percent since 2009.
Since 2009, the average deductible has increased 47 percent to $1,217 as employers aim to save on health care costs, researchers said. That’s compared to $826 in 2009.
This year, 41 percent of all covered workers face an annual deductible of at least $1,000, including 18 percent who face a deductible of at least $2,000. And covered workers at small firms (three to 199 employees) are even more likely to face large deductibles, with 61 percent facing at least $1,000 deductibles and a third (34 percent) facing $2,000 deductibles or higher.
“The deductibles for workers have crept higher over time, topping $1,200 on average this year,” said study lead author Gary Claxton. “Today, four in 10 covered workers face at least a $1,000 deductible, nearly double the share from just five years ago.”
Meanwhile, the main headline from the report is that average annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage increased 3 percent this year, reaching $16,834, continuing a “recent trend of modest increases,” analysts said.
Workers on average pay $4,823 annually toward the cost of family coverage this year, the survey of more than 3,000 firms concluded.
Kaiser analysts called the premium growth good news for employees and employers, pointing out that premiums increased more slowly over the past five years than the preceding five years (26 percent vs. 34 percent) and well below the annual double-digit increases recorded in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
“The relatively slow growth in premiums this year is good news for employers and workers, though many workers now pay more when they get sick as deductibles continue to rise and skin-in-the-game insurance gradually becomes the norm,” Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman said.
Additionally, the survey also found that nearly all employers with 100 or more workers (94 percent) already offer health benefits, shedding some light on trends on the employer market before PPACA’s employer mandate takes effect.