Americans are spending more of their paychecks on health insurance because stagnant wages aren’t keeping up with spiraling medical costs, according to a new study.
From New York Post
A report being issued Wednesday by The Commonwealth Fund, a nonpartisan research foundation, found that premiums and deductibles grabbed 6.5 percent of workers’ paychecks in 2006, growing to 8.4 percent in 2010 and 10.1 percent in 2015.
And that doesn’t include co-pays for doctors’ visits and prescription drugs.
“Employees are facing a bigger burden today relative to a few years ago,” said Commonwealth president David Blumenthal. “More money is coming out of every paycheck” to cover medical costs.
The report noted that 154 million Americans get medical insurance through their employers, compared to 11.7 million through ObamaCare.
Under the health-care law, companies are required to provide coverage to full-time workers or face penalties.
They also must comply with new mandates — such as offering preventive care without imposing cost-sharing, barring annual and lifetime limits on benefits, and covering young adults through age 26 on family plans.
The number of Americans covered by employer-based policies is about the same as before ObamaCare kicked in.
The rate of annual increases in medical costs has slowed since ObamaCare was enacted in 2010 — from 4.7 percent to 3.8 percent — but is still climbing well ahead of wages.
“The good news is that premiums in employer plans are growing more slowly on average, as is the amount employees are being asked to contribute,” said Commonwealth Fund VP Sara Collins, lead author of the report.
But, she added, “Unfortunately, many employees with moderate incomes aren’t feeling the benefits of these slowdowns, because they haven’t yet experienced the sustained growth in their income to keep up with health costs.”
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