Workers' health insurance premiums rise modestly, but deductibles jump lot more

You might not have seen a big difference in your health insurance premiums this year.

But when you went to the doctor, the hospital or got a blood test, it might have cost noticeably more.

The average insurance premiums for a family covered by job-based health plans rose just 3 percent in 2016, continuing a significant slowdown in the cost of such coverage, according to a new survey released Wednesday. About 150 million people are covered by employer-based plans, the biggest source of health coverage in the United States.

But the average deductible for such plans rose by 12 percent, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust survey. A deductible is the amount of money a patient must spend out of pocket for most health services before their insurance plan starts covering their costs.

In 2016, the average deductible for workers was $1,478, up from $1,318 last year, the survey found. And for the first time, according to the survey, slightly more than half of all covered workers have deductibles of at least $1,000, and at smaller firms, the average deductibles are now above $2,000.
The survey also found that the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, is having no effect at driving up employer health insurance costs, and that few companies are changing their employees' hours as a result of ACA requirements.

Read more here: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/14/workers-health-insurance-premiums-rise-modestly-but-deductibles-jump-lot-more.html