Employer Health Insurance Is Getting Worse and Worse

Republicans have long championed high-deductible health plans, and it looks like they’re getting their wish. Employer coverage, long considered the gold standard among health insurance plans, has undergone a revolution over the past decade:

The LA Times teamed up with Kaiser to conduct a poll that examines the effect this has had:

The explosion in cost-sharing is endangering patients’ health as millions, including those with serious illnesses, skip care….Half said costs had forced them or a close family member to delay a doctor’s appointment, not fill a prescription or postpone some other medical care in the previous year….Hardest hit in the cost shift are lower-income workers and those with serious medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer — who are more than twice as likely as healthier workers, according to the Times/KFF poll, to report problems paying medical bills and to say they’ve cut back on spending for food, clothing and other household items.

Here in California, the maximum allowed deductible for a standard silver-level Obamacare plan is $2,500. For an enhanced Silver 87 plan it’s $650. In other words, employer insurance is no longer much better than Obamacare, and in some cases worse. And if you qualify for subsidies, Obamacare might even be cheaper.

Now tell me again why Americans are dead set against ever giving up their employer insurance and moving to Medicare for All?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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