How the Cost of Your Family’s Healthcare Stacks Up
Healthcare costs are on the rise and now compete with every other household expense.
Family Healthcare Costs Are On the Rise
The cost of healthcare for a family of four is steadily climbing. Here, the total cost includes employer and worker contributions. As the expense of insuring employees and their dependents increases, more and more costs are pushed to the employees to shoulder.
Health Insurance Deductibles Keep Rising
Consumers are facing high deductibles and they are rising. Many health plans offer lower premiums with these higher deductible amounts. While this gives the impression of affordability, many find the out-of-pocket expense of deductibles difficult to manage.
Consumers Are Putting Off Medical Care Because of the Cost
Many forgo the medical care they need due to the cost. While putting off treatments and screenings can seem like a viable short-term solution, it can lead to missed opportunities for preventative measures, and health-related complications down the road.
Even Insured Americans Are Struggling With Medical Bills
Medical debt affects more than the uninsured; it is a problem for a large number of adults with medical insurance too. Adults between the ages of 18 – 60 were polled for the study. Of the survey group, 26% had difficulties paying off their medical bills even with a payment plan breaking down their charges into installments.
Employer Contributions to Employee Healthcare
As total healthcare costs rise for employees and their dependents, so do the contributions made on their behalf by employers. Between the years of 2008 and 2013, employer contributions rose significantly, with employers paying an additional $2,251 per employee in 2013.
High Deductible Plans Are Becoming More and More Common
Affordable monthly premiums are not always a financially-viable choice. Low premiums are usually coupled with a high deductible (the amount you pay before you insurance kicks in). So while the insurance itself is affordable, actually paying for treatment is not. These types of health insurance plans are spreading quickly: employer health plans with a $1000 deductible or higher have risen from just 10% in 2006 to 66% in 2013. That’s a 56% increase in less than a decade!
Deductible Amounts for Different Levels of Coverage
Depending on the level of coverage, average deductibles vary widely among health plans offered on the marketplaces or healthcare exchanges. While the bronze level offers the most affordable premiums for family coverage, the deductible for a family of four is over $10,000. That means a family has to pay $10,000 out-of-pocket towards their medical bills and expenses, before their coverage kicks in.
Private Health Insurance Spending Continues to Rise
Due to the ACA and its requirements, the rise in private health insurance spending nearly doubled between 2013 and 2014. This spending includes expenses paid by businesses, households and other private sources.
Healthcare Expenses Rise Faster Than Workers’ Earnings
Although workers’ earnings have been steadily increasing since 1999, their contributions to their healthcare costs have been rising at a much faster rate. In fact, between 1999 and 2013, the amount paid towards their medical care has risen by 196% while their salaries have only grown by 50%. That means the amount American workers are paying towards their healthcare is increasing at nearly 3 times the rate of their salaries.
Healthcare Costs Are a Big Part of Americans’ Household Budgets
For a family of four, healthcare costs are a huge annual expense, totaling over $10,000 a year. That’s more than the cost of driving a sedan (car payments, gasoline, maintenance and car insurance) and more than double the expense of taking a family summer vacation (accommodations, travel, food and entertainment).
Minimize Your Out-of-Pocket Healthcare Costs by Shopping Around For Care
The cost for a procedure can vary among providers and facilities by as much as 500%! In St. Louis, the price for a Knee MRI with and without contrast varies from $912 and $5,409. That is a potential savings of $4,497! Make sure you shop for care before visiting a facility to pay a fair price. Use our Find Fair Healthcare Prices tool under the resources tab to search for pricing information in your zip code.
Alternative Care Facilities Can Save You A Lot of Money
13-27% of ER visits are unnecessary. This means this care does not have to be administered in the Emergency Room as it is not a medical emergency. Consider visiting an alternative location, like a primary care office or urgent care facility. This will save you on your out-of-pocket costs.