Among American employees enrolled in an employer-sponsored health plan, just seven per cent pay no deductible, according to a new survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.

Among those with single coverage, nearly half (46 per cent) of respondents pay a deductible between $1,000 and $2,999, followed by $500 to $999 (19 per cent), under $500 (16 per cent), $3,000 to $3,999 (six per cent) and $4,000 or higher (six per cent).

Read: The $25 deductible: A useful tool or no longer relevant?

Among those with family health coverage, about a third of respondents pay a deductible of between $1,000 and $2,999 (29 per cent), $3,000 and $4,999 (26 per cent) or $5,000 or higher (23 per cent). Eleven per cent pay a deductible between $500 and $999, while just three per cent pay under $500.

The survey also found the average share of the health-care premium paid by an employee — 23 per cent for single coverage and 31 per cent for family coverage — is holding steady, with an increase of less than one per cent over the previous four years. 

“Health-care open enrolment can be a stressful time for employees,” said Julie Stich, an associate vice-president of content at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. “They want to choose the right plan for their situation, but the stakes are high because the choice will have a direct impact on their wallet. Adding to the stress is the fact that many employees are unfamiliar with the terminology of health insurance, such as deductible, premium and co-pay.”

Read: Hybrid of core coverage, personalized benefits touted as future of health plans

The survey also found U.S. employers provide a wide variety of benefits plan types and, in many cases, more than one type of plan. The most common offering is a preferred provider organization, offered by 73 per cent of employers. High-deductible health plans with a health-care savings account continue to grow in prevalence, at 59 per cent compared to 46 per cent in 2014. And about a quarter (26 per cent) of employers offer a health maintenance organization plan.

“With nearly three in five employers now offering high-deductible health plans, employees need to take the time to fully understand these types of plans,” said Stich. “[High-deductible health plans] involve lower premiums but higher deductibles, so individuals need to take a look at both their financial situation and their health needs for the upcoming year in determining which plan is best for them.”

All amounts in this survey are in U.S. dollars.

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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