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Study: Employer-sponsored health insurance increasingly unafforable

Employers remain the main source of health insurance in the U.S., but premiums and deductibles are pushing employer-based coverage increasingly out of reach, according to a new national study (Source: “Employer Health Insurance Is Increasingly Unaffordable, Study Finds,” New York Times, Sept. 25, 2019).

A new analysis released Wednesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the average premium paid by the employer and the employee for a family plan now tops $20,000 a year, with the worker contributing about $6,000. More than a quarter of all covered workers and nearly half of those working for small businesses face an annual deductible of $2,000 or more.

The new data on employer coverage comes as the Democratic presidential candidates debate sweeping reforms to diminish the role of private insurance in the American health system, including expanding the federal Medicare program to everyone or giving people the option to enroll in a government-run plan.

Many of the arguments for both systems center on expanding health insurance to more of the estimated 27 million people who lack it. But millions of people who already have coverage are deeply dissatisfied with the current system as well.