Study: Health Insurance Costs Growing Slower, But Pinching Harder

Massachusetts households are now spending about 7 percent of their incomes to cover health insurance premiums and deductibles, up from 5 percent a decade ago.

A new report from The Commonwealth Fund analyzed whether Obamacare was "driving higher premium and deductible costs for businesses and their workers." Its key conclusions on the big national picture:

Compared to the five years leading up to the [Affordable Care Act], premium growth for single health insurance policies offered by employers slowed both in the nation overall and in 33 states and the District of Columbia. There has been a similar slowdown in growth in the amounts employees contribute to health plan costs. Yet many families feel pinched by their health care costs: despite a recent surge, income growth has not kept pace in many areas of the U.S. Employee contributions to premiums and deductibles amounted to 10.1 percent of U.S. median income in 2015, compared to 6.5 percent in 2006.

Check out the Massachusetts stats here. Our insurance costs tend to be a bit higher than the national average, our deductibles a bit lower, and — with a median income far above the national average — our overall health-care cost burden lower. (Though it certainly may not seem low if you're paying the entire average Massachusetts premium for family coverage, $18,454, or for a single person, $6,519.)

Source: The Commonwealth Fund: "The Slowdown in Employer Insurance Cost Growth: Why Many Workers Still Feel the Pinch."
(Source: The Commonwealth Fund)


Headshot of Bob Shaffer

Bob Shaffer Producer
Bob Shaffer was a producer in WBUR’s newscast unit.



More from WBUR

Listen Live