When your employer offers you health care insurance, one of your options is to simply not sign up. Millions of Americans have made that choice, even as the Affordable Care Act has been fully implemented. Why?
In 1988, the average individual health insurance carried an annual cost of $150. A family policy premium cost $800. Adjusting for inflation only, those policies today would cost $304.50 and $1624 respectively. According to the Kaiser Foundation, those same policies in 2015 actually cost $6251 and $17,545. In other words, even after accounting for inflation, an individual's premium increased twenty and one half (20.5) times 1988 costs and the family policy rose eleven (11) times.
As history has shown, employers faced with steep increases in health care insurance premiums make one of three choices. First, they simply eliminate the offer of health insurance to employees. Second, they may choose to self-insure and take on risk. Lastly, they may simply pass on the ever-higher premium costs to the employee.
Perhaps not surprisingly, employers are reluctant to eliminate a health insurance benefit for their employee population. Indeed most companies have maintained their offer of health insurance over the past twenty-five years, regardless of rising premiums. The big change has been the out of pocket expense that employees now shoulder. And premium cost is the bogeyman for out of pocket costs.
So even if your employer offers you health insurance and even if you are eligible, you may decide that your portion of the premium expense is unaffordable. And then you opt out, worrying every night what happens "if".
Don't wait for "if". Have your employer explore solutions with EHOP Health.