Mercer Consulting reports that — again — employers are likely going to be shifting more health care costs to their workers. As businesses gear up for open enrollment, when workers have to re-enroll, switch health plans, they’re finding that health care costs have continued to escalate at unsustainable levels (thrice the rate of inflation.)
To keep premiums down, 59% of employers are deciding they’d rather make copays, deductibles and co-insurance more expensive. This trend has not been going our way — over the past five years, the average deductible has increased from $1,000 to $1,500 annually.
There’s ample evidence out there, like here, here, here and here, that shows higher cost sharing means that patients get less care, which results in them getting sicker and needing more care later. So why does the industry keep returning to their old tricks?