Employees’ Out-Of-Pocket Costs Rise 7 Percent For Work Coverage
Also, more people with coverage from their employers are choosing high-deductible plans. An analysis also finds that a lack of price transparency in health care costs leads consumers to miss savings.
Out-Of-Pocket Health Care Costs Soar
Health care costs keep climbing, and so does our share of them. Adults with insurance through work paid almost 7 percent more out-of-pocket in 2013 than in 2012, according to a new study from the Health Care Cost Institute, a nonprofit funded partly by insurance companies. (Marshall-Genzer, 2/3)
Minnesota Public Radio:
Do High-Deductible Health Insurance Plans Lead To More Personal Debt?
People who have insurance through their employer and people that have policies through either federal or state exchanges are finding that high-deductible options are their only affordable choice. In other words, in order to be able to pay for their monthly premiums, people are choosing the high-deductible plans more often. (2/3)
Hard-to-find Prices Stop Insured Patients From Comparison Shopping
What patients with health insurance spend out-of-pocket for a handful of common medical services varies greatly, according to a new analysis that suggests patients can benefit from shopping around but often don't because of the entrenched lack of price transparency in healthcare. On average, what an insured patient spends for a trip to the doctor for the first time varies by just $19 across the U.S. But the difference is $444 for cataract removal and $342 for an MRI, according to a new analysis by the Health Care Cost Institute, which maintains a huge database of medical bills for 50 million people insured by four major insurers. (Evans, 2/3)
And medical debt is still a problem despite health law safeguards --
Kaiser Health News:
Medical Debt Still a Problem Under Health Law — Despite Protections
The federal health law was intended to keep a surprise illness or injury from bankrupting Americans. It authorized states to expand eligibility for Medicaid and created online insurance markets where others without employer coverage can buy plans, with federal subsidies available. When calling for the law’s passage, President Barack Obama declared people shouldn’t 'go broke because they get sick.' In 2013, medical debt was the largest cause of personal bankruptcy – 1.7 million people lived in households experiencing bankruptcy because of health costs. But the law hasn’t eliminated the problem. Many states haven’t expanded Medicaid and even those with insurance can rack up big bills, a problem exacerbated by the growing number of plans with high deductibles. (Luthra, 2/4)