The headline of this Wall Street Journal piece pretty much says it all: Average Cost of Employer Health Coverage Tops $18,000 for Family in 2016.
The sub-head, with careful reading, adds clarity: Pace of cost increase slowed by accelerating shift into high-deductible plans, new survey shows.
That cost of employer coverage, buy the way, refers to the premiums employees must pay: $18,142 for a 2016 typical employer-offered family plan, and employees have to pay 30% of that, typically, up from 29%. Like a sergeant I once worked with liked to say, sort of, “Holy cats.”
Is that cost increase rate actually slowing, though, where it matters to the individual—the employee? Not in the deductibles. Shifting into high-deductible plans means the policy holder—the employee—has to pay lots more out of his own pocket just to get to the point where the coverage plan begins to pay its 50%, or 60%, or maybe as high as 80% of the medical costs. For that year. Then the deductible has to be paid anew.
Notice another part of that sub-head: accelerating shift into high-deductible plans. That means that in that next year, the erstwhile high-deductible plan may not be available: the employee may be stuck with purchasing a different plan, perhaps with an even higher deductible, perhaps with higher yet premiums, perhaps with coverage not as useful to the employee.
This is what Obamacare, not the employers, has wrought. This is what needs to be tossed in its entirety into the medical waste disposal and replaced with a more honest environment within which actual insurance can be had, and competitively so.