Thomas Hart can’t remember the last time he got a pay raise, but he says his health care costs continue to rise every year.
“My cost for my insurance goes up, my deductible went up and my out-of-pocket costs are up, too, but my pay is the same,” he said recently. “It’s like I have been getting a pay cut over the past several years.”
Hart didn’t want to name his employer and understands it is just passing increasing costs along to employees, while the company he works for continues to see its health care costs for employees increase as well.
Overall, health care costs are growing at a faster rate than wages or inflation, according to a recently released report from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).
Annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose 5% to an average of $20,576 this year, according to the 2019 benchmark KFF Employer Health Benefits Survey.
The report says while wages and inflation have cumulatively increased 26% and 20%, premiums are cumulatively up 54% over the past decade, while deductibles have skyrocketed 162%.
“The single biggest issue in health care for most Americans is that their health costs are growing much faster than their wages are,” KFF President and CEO Drew Altman said. “Costs are prohibitive when workers making $25,000 a year have to shell out $7,000 a year just for their share of family premiums.”