The pain of paying for health insurance grows…

In 2011, the average cost of employer-sponsored family health insurance increased to $15,073, according to  Wow.   And surprisingly, employers are still paying, on average, 73% of the cost. How are employers dealing with this?  The number of High Deductible Health Plans has more than doubled since 2009, with 17% of employees now covered.  Almost a third of those have at least a $2000 deductible.

The pain isn’t just for Employers, either.  With average wage increases only 2.1%, inflation at 3.2% and health insurance sharing amounts rising, most employees are going backwards financially.  Since 2001, Workers wages have barely out paced inflation by about 7%, but family health premiums have gone up 113%.

What is driving the costs up so quickly?  Little has actually been done to control the rapidly rising cost of health care, which doubled from 1990-2000;  although there is some hope for Accountable Care Organizations (ACO’s) going forward.  Almost 90 cents of every premium dollar is paid back to providers for health care services, according to The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. There is a greater demand for services as the population ages in many areas, and a greater demand and expectation that we all are entitled to state-of-the-art treatment, even when studies show little benefit from these new treatments.  Medical Malpractice Liability increases continue, leading to unnecessary tests and treatments.  Prescription Drugs are use more frequently and at higher costs.  Public programs are underfunded, which shifts costs to private insurers, raising the premiums we all pay.  At the same time, the government continues to put more and more unfunded mandates on insurers.  It is estimated that medical fraud accounts for 10% of total medical expenditures in this country (thats $23 trillion, folks).

Health Care Reform alone is a huge contributor to this, so far.  Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers are faced with several significant taxes and fees over the next years.  The Health Insurance (“HIT”)alone  will add $8 billion to insurers costs in 2014.

Well, 2.3 million young adults have been added to their parents policies under Health Care Reform.