Health & Medicine

See how your out-of-pocket medical costs compare with other Americans

Medi-Cal is the state’s largest health insurer, covering 1 in 3 Californians

Medi-Cal is the state’s largest health insurer and provides coverage to 1 in 3 Californians. Largely due to the expanded eligibility requirements under the Affordable Care Act, more than 13 million people — including single adults, families, senio
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Medi-Cal is the state’s largest health insurer and provides coverage to 1 in 3 Californians. Largely due to the expanded eligibility requirements under the Affordable Care Act, more than 13 million people — including single adults, families, senio

Want to see how your out-of-pocket costs for health care compare to other U.S. consumers? New data analysis released today by Kaiser Family Foundation provides the answer.

If your office pod includes a party of four, one of you likely paid $1,000 or more in out-of-pocket costs. The Kaiser analysis of claims data showed that 24 percent of people covered by large employer plans are in that group. In 2005, only 17 percent of workers were.

Even as wage growth stagnated between 2005 and 2015, more workers had to allocate a bigger portion of their paychecks to cover out-of-pocket costs for health care. Average out-of-pocket costs grew by 66 percent for covered workers, while wages rose by 31 percent.

Curious about how much more health insurers paid out per enrollee? The Kaiser study said their average payments grew by 56 percent.

What does 66 percent look like in real dollars? Well, the average in 2015, the latest year for which data was available, was $778, compared with $469 in 2005. If you were being treated for cancer or a circulatory disease in 2015, your average payout was almost double the average: $1,510 and $1,508 respectively. All dollar amounts were adjusted for inflation.

Cathie Anderson: 916-321-1193, @CathieA_SacBee

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