Thursday, May 29, 2014

56% Companies Increase Employees' Health Ins. Cost Sharing in 2013; 59% will in 2014

... In 2013, 56 percent of companies increased their employees’ share of health care premiums or co-pays; another 59 percent plan to do the same by the end of 2014. 
Employers and insurance companies have both markedly shifted towards a new model where consumers pay higher out-of-pocket costs every time they actually use health services — in addition to rising premiums. 
A vast majority of workers still feel insecure about medical costs, however: The report found that the average American worker is just one serious medical event away from financial hardship. 
Sixty-six percent fear that they wouldn’t be able to handle the large costs of a serious illness or injury. When it comes to paying unexpected out-of-pocket medical costs, 49 percent of workers have less than $1,000 on hand; 27 percent of employees have less than $500. 
Employees’ consistent worries about handling health-care costs were supposed to be alleviated by the health-care law, but even insured employees remain largely unprepared to deal with typical out-of-pocket costs. 
The threat of bankruptcy due to unexpected medical costs was a key talking point for the Affordable Care Act’s supporters. Obamacare limits insurers’ ability to cap annual and lifetime payments for essential health benefits, but with many workers unable to pay over $1,000 out-of-pocket, financial hardships will arise for more routine health services. ...
Full story from the Daily Caller.