Employers shifting more costs to workers

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Employers shifting more costs to workers

Recently released results from a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust found employers continue to shift expenses to workers, with deductibles rising substantially faster than total health costs.

According to the survey, 46 percent of covered workers have a deductible of at least $1,000 this year for single coverage, with more than a fifth of workers facing deductibles of more than $2,000.

“The so-called great slowdown in health care costs has been all but invisible to consumers because deductibles have been going up so much faster than their wages,” said Drew Altman, KFF’s CEO.

We at the Alliance want to help people become savvy consumers of health care, though we still have a long way to go before consumers have the full picture they need to make decisions. Helping patients understand cost, quality and patient experience and how these components lead to value in health care can help them make better decisions and lower the cost of health care for all of us, but it’s not a panacea. Shifting too many costs to consumers can end up costing the system more in the long run if patients can’t afford their deductible and avoid going to the doctor when a condition could be more easily treated. If patients who have a high deductible wait to seek care when things become harder to treat, then we still have a lot of work to do to smooth out the issues in our health care system.

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