Rising deductibles hitting consumers hard.
A NEW ANALYSIS POINTS to the difficulty families have paying for the ever-growing cost of health care, especially given increasing deductibles.
The Kaiser Family Foundation analysis finds that most families don't have enough assets to cover a mid-to higher-range deductible in a private health insurance plan.
Specifically, Kaiser said, less than two-thirds (63 percent) of non-elderly households with incomes above the federal poverty level have sufficient liquid financial assets to cover a midrange annual deductible of $1,200 for an individual or $2,400 for a family.
By comparison, the average general annual deductible for single coverage among workers enrolled in an employer-based health plan was $1,217 in 2014.
About half (51 percent) of households have enough liquid assets to cover a higher-range annual deductible of $2,500 for an individual or $5,000 for a family. In 2015 plans offered through Healthcare.gov, the average combined medical and drug deductible for single coverage in a silver plan was $2,556.
Among low-and moderate-income households, even fewer are able to meet deductibles.
For example, just a third of lower-income families have sufficient liquid financial assets to cover a $1,200 deductible for an individual or a $2,400 deductible for a family, and 20 percent have enough to cover an annual deductible of $2,500 for an individual or $5,000 for a family.
Kaiser researchers also noted that the estimates are conservative as they assume that people have all of their liquid assets available to pay their health care bills.
The research is important as many employers are turning to high deductible health plans to combat their own expenses providing health coverage for employees.
Previous analysis released last fall from Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust found that deductibles are up nearly 50 percent since 2009. Since that year, the average deductible has increased 47 percent to $1,217, researchers said. That's compared to $826 in 2009.