Health care is becoming increasingly expensive for Americans. This isn’t news and recent data backs it up. Health insurance premium contributions and deductibles combined are a good measure of total health care costs for Americans.
Recent Findings Suggest American Workers are Spending More on Health Care
According to this measure, the Commonwealth Fund of NYU found that average employee premium contributions and deductibles exceeded 10 percent of median income in 42 states by 2018. This is an increase from just 7 states over this figure in 2008 and 16 states in 2014.
And worryingly, this figure was over 12% of median income in 17 states!
As health care costs consumer greater and greater proportions of American paychecks, workers will be forced to make difficult decisions, such as cutting back on consumer spending and other economic activities that can slow down the economy.
Effect of COVID on Health Care Costs and Wages
All this is likely to be exacerbated during the COVID pandemic, when people are probably holding onto their health insurance over other spending.
So it’s critical for American workers that employers consider the various ways they can meaningfully impact health care spending. Costs are very linked to employer choices, such as network selection, plan design, and funding strategy. And if employers can devote the time to this, American workers can spend more on their families and communities.