(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

High Health Plan Deductibles Weigh Down More Employees

Today's post is shared from
Anita Maina was working on an arts and crafts project she found on Pinterest — creating a table out of wood and cork — when she ripped off a fingernail while removing staples from a piece of wood.
“It is one of those things that really hurt, and I thought I should go to urgent care,” said Ms. Maina, 27.
But she ultimately skipped the visit since she had not met the $6,000 deductible on her health plan, and she knew she probably did not have much left in her health savings account, a type of tax-advantaged savings vehicle that is often used with high-deductible plans to help defray out-of-pocket costs.
Ms. Maina, an associate in a health and human services consulting agency, said her employer added the high-deductible plan earlier this year; though her monthly premiums are only $34, these plans require employees to pay for a greater share of their medical expenses upfront, before the plan starts making payments.
Next year, even more corporate workers are likely to be offered high-deductible plans — sometimes known more benignly as consumer-directed plans — and at a rising share of large companies, it will be the only option remaining.

“You can’t sugarcoat this,” said Paul B. Ginsburg, a professor of the practice of health policy and management at the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. “This is a more challenging situation for consumers and it’s a reflection of how...
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