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Nonstop Blog:

Cost-Sharing Data Sheds New Light on Employee Responsibilities For Healthcare

rising-cost-graph.jpgPhoto: HCW Benefits

This week the Kaiser Family Foundation released an insight brief on actual employee cost-sharing data for healthcare spending as reported between 2004-2014. By analyzing a sample of health benefit claims over that decade, researchers were able to identify how consumer spending on deductibles, copays, and coinsurance has changed.

Not surprising, given the news lately around rising healthcare costs, the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker found that while wages rose only 32 percent, cost-sharing has risen 77 percent. Spending on deductibles increasing by 256 percent and coinsurance expenses have increased 107 percent. This is in contrast to the amount of healthcare costs paid for by insurers, which is 58 percent. That said, copayments have actually decreased by 26 percent; this may be due to the rising use of coinsurance as a cost-sharing approach for insurers.

This new data is remarkable because “patients in large employer plans are paying a greater share of their medical expenses out-of-pocket…and, while health care spending has been growing at fairly modest rates in recent years, the growth in out-of-pocket costs comes at a time when wages have been largely stagnant.”

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The information and materials herein are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, plan provider or other professional advisor. This information has been taken from sources believed to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy. In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used as or considered a ‘covered opinion’ or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for any purpose other than its intended purp