Health care costs are wrecking middle-class family and business budgets. Since 2010, according to Joseph Antos and Joe White,
- average premiums in the workplace rose 24% for individual plans and 27% for family plans;
- average deductibles for all workers rose 67%, from $646 to $1,077; and
- employer costs increased 32%, from $10,744 to $14,198.
The Affordable Care Act has not eased family or business health insurance costs nor tamed overall health care costs. Those costs are projected to grow at 5.8% per year over the next decade, outpacing both economic and wage growth.
The structural pressures driving this surge are, if anything, getting worse. Provider consolidation has given hospitals and physicians more pricing power than ever. Waste and inappropriate care still accounts for one quarter or more of health spending. Government mandates, taxes and ever-changing rules governing everything from special enrollment periods to market rules drive both cost and uncertainty in the market.