A recent survey of employers conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that the cost of family health coverage has exceeded $20,000 per year. Employers typically cover most of this cost, but employees contribute an average of $6,000 towards premiums per year. However, employees are liable for additional cost-sharing if they utilize their health plan to access care. Cost-sharing has become increasingly burdensome for employees, as high-deductible health plans have grown in popularity in recent years. These plans require enrollees to cover the costs of their care until they meet their deductible, which can be several thousand dollars. This has led to fewer Americans receiving employer coverage in 2017 than in 1999. However, a recent survey by the National Business Group on Health showed that the number of employers choosing to offer only high-deductible health plans to their employees in 2020 is expected to decrease to 25%, down from 39% in 2018. This could be a promising trend for employees with high health care utilization, but it doesn’t address the underlying cost of health care. This means that employers will still be trying to find ways to divide health care costs among themselves and their employees, as those costs continue to grow.
Health care costs have grown so much that an average employee’s contribution towards their health costs, $6,000, have reached the combined contribution that employers and employees made towards their health care costs in 1999. Should this trend continue, employers will have to make difficult decisions as they balance the need for offering competitive benefits to their employees with the need to protect their financial health. For these reasons, we believe that bold solutions are needed to reform the American health care system to reduce overall health care costs. Continue reading.