“Consumer-driven health plans” may now be covering more U.S. workers than “conventional” health insurance plans are.
Researchers at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, Calif., and the Health Research and Educational Trust, Washington, have published data supporting that conclusion in a summary of results from a health benefits survey that drew on responses from more than 2,000 public and private employers with 3 or more employees.
This is the first year that the researchers have included “high-deductible health plan with a savings option” as a coverage category.
Plans that incorporate health savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements or other personal health accounts now seem to be covering about 4% of all U.S. workers with private employer-sponsored health coverage, the Kaiser researchers report.
The traditional indemnity health insurance plans that dominated the market up until the late 1980s now cover only 3% of U.S. workers, about the same as in 2005, the researchers report.
The total cost of health benefits increased 7.7%, with an average increase of 8.8% for employers with 3 to 199 employees and an average increase of 7% for employers with 200 or more employees.
The overall U.S. urban Consumer Price Index has increased at an annualized rate of 3.8% this year.
The average annual cost for all forms of coverage is $4,242 per single employee and $11,480 for a family of 4, the Kaiser researchers report.