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Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills

Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills

Old May 2nd 2019, 5:00 pm
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Default Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills

https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-...502-story.html

As this seems a common subject and seems to come up often on these forums I thought this article would be of interest as I also think that many on here have a skewed view of the issues most face.

Soaring deductibles and medical bills are pushing millions of American families to the breaking point, fueling an affordability crisis that is pulling in middle-class households with health insurance as well as the poor and uninsured.

In the last 12 years, annual deductibles in job-based health plans have nearly quadrupled and now average more than $1,300.

Yet Americans’ savings are not keeping pace, data show. And more than four in 10 workers enrolled in a high-deductible plan report they don’t have enough savings to cover the deductible.
I am not surprised as it falls in with what I am told, nothing suggests to me is that this will not be a continuing trend.

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Old May 2nd 2019, 5:18 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills

Only an idiot would sign up for HD insurance and not use the savings in premiums to fund an HSA.
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Old May 2nd 2019, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills

That assumes that would be an option:

As high-deductible plans caught fire, however, many employers saw they could save even more by not contributing to their employees’ accounts.

“The idea was hijacked,” said Tony Miller, a Minnesota healthcare entrepreneur who developed some of the first high-deductible plans for large employers like medical device giant Medtronic, but who has since grown disenchanted with how companies shifted costs onto patients.

The change left workers responsible for saving for healthcare on their own.

Yet government data show that most workers haven’t had extra money to set aside.
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Old May 2nd 2019, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills

In the last 12 years, annual deductibles in job-based health plans have nearly quadrupled and now average more than $1,300.
Quadrupled to $1,300? So it has gone up around $900.

Over 12 years? So about $80 a year.

The article takes a slightly sensationalist approach to a number that, in my opinion, is surprisingly low. Deductibles have on average gone up $80 a year? I would have thought it would be so much more than that..
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Old May 2nd 2019, 5:29 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills

Originally Posted by celticgrid View Post
Quadrupled to $1,300? So it has gone up around $900.

Over 12 years? So about $80 a year.

The article takes a slightly sensationalist approach to a number that, in my opinion, is surprisingly low. Deductibles have on average gone up $80 a year? I would have thought it would be so much more than that..
Well, using simple maths, quadrupled=300% increase which equates to 25%/year over 12 years. Still pretty steep.
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Old May 2nd 2019, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills

I said that BE seems to be an abnormal selection, so all these things are relative:
In 2016, the most recent year with available data, just half of single households and six in 10 multi-person households had even $2,000 in available savings — including cash, non-retirement stocks, mutual funds and other liquid assets — according to a KFF analysis of government data conducted for The Times.
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Old May 2nd 2019, 5:36 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills

Originally Posted by chawkins99 View Post
Well, using simple maths, quadrupled=300% increase which equates to 25%/year over 12 years. Still pretty steep.
Perhaps you'd like to check that "simple maths" of yours...
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Old May 2nd 2019, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills

Originally Posted by celticgrid View Post
Perhaps you'd like to check that "simple maths" of yours...
Teach me, oh master.
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Old May 2nd 2019, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills

Originally Posted by celticgrid View Post
Perhaps you'd like to check that "simple maths" of yours...
I get 12¼%pa compound.
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Old May 2nd 2019, 5:47 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I get 12¼%pa compound.
Yep. That's right. Not insignificant but in terms of rising deductible levels quite believable. Sadly.
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Old May 2nd 2019, 5:47 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I get 12¼%pa compound.
That's why I said 'simple'. Couldn't be arsed to work out the compound.
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Old May 2nd 2019, 5:54 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills

Originally Posted by celticgrid View Post
Yep. That's right. Not insignificant but in terms of rising deductible levels quite believable. Sadly.
But the reality for most people who have been affected by the switch to HD insurance is that most, if not all of the increase was in one jump as they moved from traditional health insurance to HD insurance.

I think when we switched we went from a deductible of $1,000 each to somewhere around $3,000. That was back in 2009, and I think the deductible has dropped slightly to around $2,600 each since then. I don't pay much attention as none of us have ever reached the deductible anyway.

I do recall at the time, that the premium savings were very similar to the increase in deductible, and we used all the savings to fund our HSAs. So if we made unprecedented use of medical services each year we would break even, and if we continued to make very light use of medical services we would accumulate a tidy sum in our HSAs each year. The latter has been the case.

Last edited by Pulaski; May 2nd 2019 at 5:59 pm.
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Old May 2nd 2019, 6:02 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills

My employers plan has a (literally) $20 a paycheck difference between the 'HD' and standard PPO plans... needless to day I went with the standard PPO plan because of the significantly lower deductible and the fact that there was little difference in the premiums to offset in savings.
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Old May 2nd 2019, 11:24 pm
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Default Re: Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills

I have my first drs appointment coming up this month after living here for 3 years and maxing out my hsa each year. Apart from a few dentist trips, it's mostly intact. In fact, my entire doctors bill will be paid by investment earnings from within the HSA. Just takes a bit of planning and putting money away for a rainy day.
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Old May 3rd 2019, 1:46 am
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Default Re: Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
Just takes a bit of planning and putting money away for a rainy day.
... and sensibly only needing medical attention after a three-year planning period...
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