Post Date: November 11, 2015

$17,545; that is the average cost of employer health coverage for the year 2015. This is according to a new survey conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation in collaboration with Health Research and Educational Trust. The new figure represents a 4% increase from last year’s $16,834 which, of course, is a blow to American families. The family plan premium contributed by employees is 29% of the total which is the same as last year. When you look at the individual worker, you also notice a 4% increase in the average annual cost of employer’s coverage.

The slow pace of premium growth has been a catalyst for heated debate in the recent past with analyst indicating that Americans should brace themselves for higher health cost in the coming years. Economists have suggested that the slowed rate of increase is most certainly linked to recession and credit changes in the health care system such as higher deductibles. The last five years have seen an increase in the average number of deductibles. The average deductibles today are $1217 as compared to $917 five years ago.

The Affordable care Act is also a causative agent to the surging deductibles figure. This is because it is based on a relatively higher cost of coverage. Marsh and McLennan Cos’ recently released the results of a poll they had conducted on the Affordable care act. The results show that 41% of employers had already added a high deductible plan or acted in a manner to endorse such a plan. Another whopping 25% is considering a high deductible plan all attributed to the dubbed “Cadillac tax.”

According to the Kaiser survey, there is a smaller effect of the upcoming tax. Findings showed that 13% of large employers (those with 200 or more employees) and 7% revealed that they had adjusted their plans’ coverage to avoid triggering the tax.

The Kaiser poll showed little impact from aspects of the federal health law concerning employer coverage. 21% of firms with more than 100 employees said they had extended health-cover eligibility to new groups of workers with 5% indicating they had offered more comprehensive benefits to workers.Also, 3% of large employers changed job specifications from permanent to part time to reduce those eligible for the cover.

It is with no doubt that Affordable Care Act “Obama care” is responsible for skyrocketing costs increase in employer health coverage family plans. This has reduced the number of employees that have access to telemedicine in the country.