They aren’t suggesting things for individuals, as this is just a report on the trend and the Kaiser report.
They did say a lot of large employers have stopped asking workers to pay a larger proportion of costs.
Some large employers have reversed course on asking workers to take on more costs, according to a separate survey from the National Business Group on Health. In 2020, fewer companies will limit employees to so-called “consumer-directed health plans,” which pair high-deductible coverage with savings accounts for medical spending funded by workers and employers, according to the survey. That will be the only plan available at 25% of large employers in the survey, down from 39% in 2018.
They also mentioned that specifically the employers still need to attract and retain employees, so for all their hemming and hawing, they’re still figuring out other ways to keep health insurance coverage:
That leaves them less inclined to make aggressive moves to tackle underlying medical costs, such as by cutting high-cost hospitals out of their networks. In recent years employers’ health-care costs have remained steady as a share of their total compensation expenses.
I mean, that’s awesome for you. And I’m sorry how outrageous it’s gotten, for everyone. But was that really the same policy? Through the same employer? Does it cover the same things - did it cover the ACA essential benefits (free annual physical, routine testing, free vaccinations and preventative care)? Did it have a maximum it would pay out? (I knew people pre-ACA who thought they had great insurance and blew through their $1,000,000 coverage limit when they had a premature child or a cancer diagnosis).
Warning: I’m gonna go on ACA defense squad here, which is funny, because I genuinely believe while it made things better as far as receiving care, it’s a fucking broken overall system, with flaws highlighted by the ACA.
The ACA is definitely the driving factor in the rising costs because it opened up coverage to people like me without fixing the deep (market-based) flaws in our health care system.
I didn’t have $40/month health plan before the ACA, because I didn’t have any coverage available to me at all. Even my full-time employer didn’t have any health insurance options because we were only 6 staff and not big enough to buy insurance. I couldn’t buy insurance anywhere because I was uninsurable with a pre-existing condition.
What the ACA did was allow me to get health insurance to treat my illness, that otherwise would’ve cost everyone more in the long run, since the average person with my disease progression used to end up claiming disability in their 40s before the new drugs came out.
What the ACA didn’t plan for was how many people like me there were - nor did it build in cost controls for the newest class of drugs - biologicals, which mostly treat autoimmune disorders, some cancers - so I was built into the modeling as a “young health person” who would pay into the system and barely take out of it, but instead, I am a “broken young person” who requires the most expensive class of drug which has tripled in price FOR NO REASON (no formulation or production change, they simply have a monopoly) the past five years. Meaning I raise the costs for everyone else. You (and five other people who pay what you do) have to subsidize my $5,800 per month drug.
Not to say that people like me aren’t also affected by the premium hikes - plans are eliminated from the exchange every year and I have to change. Objectively, I have a “crappy plan” - it’s a $9000 out of pocket max, and $6500 deductible (the maximum allowable under ACA) but still costs $300 a month. But at least I now get assistance with paying that, as a low-income person. Before there was nothing. Medicaid was only for children and pregnant women.