The individual health insurance market is a bit jittery based on instability related to all the uncertainty. Unfortunately, this is expected to cause a significant increase in pricing. Not good news to those who must purchase their own insurance policies. However, the landscape is also changing in the employer based health insurance arena where stability is not an issue but due to the fact that businesses struggle to control escalating costs.
In 2018 employers are expecting the annual costs for premiums to be $14,000 per employee; an increase of 5%. The premium amount employees are expected to pay is going up as well with estimates being no more than 30%, or $4,400 per year through premiums, out of pocket costs, and/or health savings accounts.
This benefit is still an incredible value despite the additional costs. Those without an employer-based option will spend much more — $6,000 and up in annual premiums alone plus an additional $5,000 – $10,000 in annual out-of-pocket expenses. It’s no wonder that many want the Affordable Care Act subsidies to continue– both individuals and major insurance carriers.
A recent survey found that the shift toward high-deductible plans is going to continue. Results indicate that 40 percent of employers will offer the high-deductible plan as the only plan option for employees to select in 2018. Nearly all employers — 90 percent — will offer at least one high-deductible plan next year.
Business are seeking other cost saving options, such as telemedicine, onsite health centers, and pharmaceutical control. However, a study by the Rand Corp found that telemedicine options may actually increase costs since employees may use it un-necessarily such as issues that would never have needed medical attention.
It is a changing landscape with complex drivers that cannot be solved with simple solutions. This fall may be a stressful time as employees and employers navigate the heath insurance options.