How much for health insurance? Texas employee premiums and deductibles exceeded 13% of median income
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People say that it’s expensive to get sick in America, and it also costs a lot to stay healthy. In fact, it seems to be so much that many people aren’t willing to pay the price. This is among the takeaways from a new study on employer-sponsored health insurance by The Commonwealth Fund – a century-old private foundation which promotes improvements in the health care system.
Most under-age-65 Americans get health insurance through their employers, including an estimated 164 million people nationwide and over 13 million in Texas. The report found that the cost of that insurance had grown much faster than inflation, and workers’ share of the burden had grown even faster. And even employee premiums and deductibles rose more than median income in every state over the past decade. For instance, the average employee premium and deductible last year totaled 11.5% of median household income in the U.S., increased from 7.8% a decade earlier. The same expenses in Texas totaled 13.5% of median income – over $8,000 per worker.
Research indicates that these costs have consequences, that people with low and moderate incomes may go without insurance if it competes with other expenses such as housing or food. High deductibles may lead people to skip needed health care or not fill the prescriptions.
How Texas compares on affordability
Moreover, approximately 5% of the population accounts for about half of health care spending. Those patients have a lot of chronic conditions, which include behavioral health issues.
Blumenthal said they were sick and they need care. Regardless of the price, neither they nor their employers can afford to walk away.