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Premiums see moderate increase in 2018 for employer plans

Premiums see moderate increase in 2018 for employer plans

Premiums for individuals and families enrolled in employer plans increased moderately in 2018, but more workers are paying higher deductibles, according to a new survey released Wednesday. 

Premiums increased by 5 percent for family plans in 2018, and by 3 percent for single coverage plans, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's annual employer health benefits survey

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This is in line with the moderate premium increases these plans have seen over the past seven years, according to the survey. 

Still, the average family premium has increased 55 percent since 2008, twice as fast as wages and three times faster than inflation. 

Single coverage premiums increased 47 percent from 2008.

The survey also found that more employer plans have deductibles— the amount enrollees must spend on health care services out of pocket before insurance starts to pay. 

In 2018, 85 percent of people enrolled in employer health plans had a deductible, up from 81 percent last year, and 59 percent in 2008. 

The dollar amount of these deductibles have also increased significantly over the past 10 years, the survey shows. 

The average deductible for a single plan was $1,573 in 2017, compared to $1,505 last year and $735 in 2008. 

That means in 2018, enrollees in employer sponsored health plans with deductibles had to pay, on average, $1,573 out of pocket for their health care services before insurance kicked in. 

Overall, the burden of deductibles for covered workers has tripled since 2008, growing eight times faster than wages, according to the survey. 

“Health costs don’t rise in a vacuum. As long as out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, drugs, surprise bills and more continue to outpace wage growth, people will be frustrated by their medical bills and see health costs as huge pocketbook and political issues,” KFF President and CEO Drew Altman said.