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High-deductible health plans discourage some middle-class workers from required care: shots



Nick Krug / Los Angeles Times

Workers with a steady paycheck already know that wages are rising stubbornly slowly. In the meantime, those who get health insurance through a job have skyrocketed their deductibles. Noam Levey, a Los Angeles Times health care reporter has quadrupled on average over the last decade. As a result, even some people who have health insurance have difficulty paying for medical care. We talked to Levey about his recent coverage of the impact on workers and their families.

Interview Highlights

Why he decided to tackle this project:

We've spent so much time fighting with Obamacare Over the last 10 years, we've talked about the uninsured, that I think we have this quiet revolution that took place through health insurance for tens of millions of Americans who are covered by an employer. These are the people who have seen the deductibles astronomically increased – quadrupling fourfold over the last ten years from an average of about $ 350 to an average of $ 1,350. In some cases, people see 4,000, 5,000 or even 6,000 deductibles they have to pay out of their own pocket before their health insurance contracts. Of course, many Americans can not afford this kind of bills. [19659006] What He Heard in Conversation with Humans:

We've heard some really heartbreaking stories. That's why we conducted a nationwide survey of the Kaiser Family Foundation as part of this project. We found that half of the Americans who have a job-related insurance claim stopped them or one immediate family member from going to the doctor last year, failing to complete the prescription, or postponing another medical treatment because of concern for the costs. We found that one in five had used up his savings last year to pay a medical bill, and one in six said he had to make some sort of difficult sacrifice to pay a medical bill.

Some of them were really good. We talked to a 27-year-old cook in West Virginia who was trying to start a family with his young wife. His wife had a miscarriage. They got so big medical bills that he had to accept two extra jobs and worked from 5 to 11 pm. some days.

These are people who have health insurance. We used to hear about people who did not have health insurance. In many cases, however, they are SMEs that earn $ 75,000 or $ 100,000 annually. However, if they receive a medical bill of $ 5,000 or $ 6,000-a family of four, children at school-it's hard for many people to get that money.

About what's next in his coverage [19659005] In particular, we will examine how these high deductibles are problematic for people with serious illnesses – diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. Among other things, we were particularly worried that these people, who should go to the doctor, even limit their treatment.

We'll look at how these deductible plans make inequality worse At a time when Americans are a major issue of who makes profits in our economy. If you live from paycheck to paycheck and get sick, it is really hard for this group of people.

One of the other things that are amazing, and I know NPR A little has been shown to increase the growth of online charities and crowdfunding sources like GoFundMe a large part of people who want to pay medical bills. And one of the amazing things about these people is that many of them are health insured.

Noam Levey reports for the Los Angeles Times and is found on Twitter: [19659018] NoamLevey .


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