The Growing Cost Burden of Employer Health Insurance for U.S. Families and Implications for Their Health and Economic Security

Employer health insurance continues to be the primary source of insurance coverage for the majority of the U.S. population. More than half of U.S. residents under age 65 — about 158 million people — get their health insurance through an employer, either their own or a family member’s.

Two recent studies by the Commonwealth Fund indicate that families’ costs for employer health insurance are rising faster than median income. Moreover, even as costs climb, families aren’t receiving higher-quality insurance. The amount they have to spend out of pocket before their insurance coverage kicks in also continues to climb. Consequently, our research indicates that a growing share of people with employer coverage have such high out-of-pocket costs and deductibles relative to their income that they can be considered “underinsured.”

People across the United States are not experiencing health care costs equally. This variation stems from differences in the size of employer premiums across states, how much employees are required to contribute to premiums, deductible amounts, and the widening disparity in median incomes across the country. We have found that families who could potentially spend the greatest amount of their incomes on insurance costs and deductibles are concentrated in the South.

– The Commonwealth Fund

Read the full article here.