Health insurance deductibles doubled in just the last seven years, reports The New York Times.
In a study conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, it was found that between 2003 and 2010, total premiums for family coverage rose by 50 percent. Total health insurance premiums are those that are paid for by both employers and workers combined.
Workers found that they bear a great deal of the total health insurance premiums’ burden: their share increased by 63 percent over that period.
This news that health insurance deductibles doubled, combined with the fact that employment based health insurance has been declining, as reported by FindLaw's Houston Employment Law Blog, doesn't bode well for employees that rely on employment-based health insurance.
Given the costs associated with the total premiums, it will be important for workers to be well informed.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) mandates that workers receive a summary plan description (SPD). The SPD is the primary document that gives information about the plan, what benefits are available under the plan, the rights of participant and beneficiaries under the plan, and how the plan works.
Among other information, the SPD of health plans must describe cost-sharing provisions, including premiums, deductibles, coinsurance and copayment amounts for which the participant or beneficiary will be responsible.
ERISA also requires that SPDs be updated periodically. Furthermore, ERISA requires disclosure of any material reduction in covered services or benefits to participants and beneficiaries generally within 60 days of the adoption of the change through either a revised SPD or a summary of material modification (SMM).
For more information please see below.