Tag Archives: deductibles

Behind the headlines, survey reveals ‘a quiet revolution’ away from more comprehensive insurance

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

One of the big stories reported on Aug. 21 involved the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) 2013 Employer Health Benefits Survey. The survey results were reported widely, including the fact that annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $16,351 this year, up 4 percent from 2012.

The Kaiser/HRET survey of more than 2,000 small and large employers provides a thorough review of employers’ health insurance strategies for this year and trends since 1999.

During the conference call to announce the results, Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman, Ph.D., pointed out that even though the 4 percent increase was relatively moderate compared with the increases reported in past years, the perception among a majority of Americans is that premiums are rising faster than usual, as Sarah Kliff reported.

Altman explained that part of the reason for this perception is the continued rise in high deductibles and the growth in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), which cause insured Americans to pay more out of pocket. “They don’t just pay their share of the premium, they pay other forms of cost sharing, especially their deductibles.” Continue reading