Employer Health Insurance Is Getting Worse and Worse

Republicans have long championed high-deductible health plans, and it looks like they’re getting their wish. Employer coverage, long considered the gold standard among health insurance plans, has undergone a revolution over the past decade:

The LA Times teamed up with Kaiser to conduct a poll that examines the effect this has had:

The explosion in cost-sharing is endangering patients’ health as millions, including those with serious illnesses, skip care….Half said costs had forced them or a close family member to delay a doctor’s appointment, not fill a prescription or postpone some other medical care in the previous year….Hardest hit in the cost shift are lower-income workers and those with serious medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer — who are more than twice as likely as healthier workers, according to the Times/KFF poll, to report problems paying medical bills and to say they’ve cut back on spending for food, clothing and other household items.

Here in California, the maximum allowed deductible for a standard silver-level Obamacare plan is $2,500. For an enhanced Silver 87 plan it’s $650. In other words, employer insurance is no longer much better than Obamacare, and in some cases worse. And if you qualify for subsidies, Obamacare might even be cheaper.

Now tell me again why Americans are dead set against ever giving up their employer insurance and moving to Medicare for All?

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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