Workers have to pay more upfront for care
As employers struggle to tame health care's market power, they have used the tools of less generous coverage — higher deductibles, copays and coinsurance — to offset some of the rising premiums.
Why it matters: Workers are increasingly finding their health insurance doesn't feel like insurance.
By the numbers: The average single worker's deductible has tripled since 2006, and 30% of all companies now have annual deductibles of $2,000 or more, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
- The average deductible for individual workers was almost $1,700 in 2021, according to KFF.
- More than half of working families in high-deductible plans had deductibles of at least $5,000.
- Federal law now outlaws most types of surprise bills, but workers could still face huge and unexpected costs depending on their network of hospitals and doctors.
Worth noting: Employees who face the highest out-of-pocket medical costs are those who work in industries that often don't offer insurance like food service, retail and hospitality.
- Those industries disproportionately employ Black and Hispanic workers, and those workers are most vulnerable to being exposed to COVID-19.