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More employee pay going to health insurance in Ohio, U.S., study finds

Across the United States, the cost of health insurance and deductibles for those with employer-sponsored plans is outpacing median income, according to a new report (Source: “Employees spending greater share of income on health insurance in Ohio, U.S.,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, Nov. 21, 2019).

According to the Commonwealth Fund report, premiums and deductibles in 2018 were 10% or more of the median income for workers in 42 states, including Ohio. A decade before, that was only true in seven states. The report analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau and a federal insurance questionnaire.

Nationally, the average employee premium contribution and deductible represented 11.5% of median household income in 2018, up from 7.8% a decade before. In Ohio, the average premium contribution and deductible made up 11.1% of median household income, compared with 6.9% in 2008, according to the report.

Rising deductibles could make employees more likely to delay or skip care or, to not take prescription medications, the report said. And if premiums get too high, some might forgo health insurance all together, the study’s authors said.

“Over the last decade, employer health insurance premiums and deductibles have grown faster than workers’ wages. This is concerning, because it may put both coverage and health care out of reach for millions of people,” said Sara Collins, vice president of health care coverage and access for the Commonwealth Fund and one of the authors of the report.