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Out-of-pocket health care costs rising much faster than wages

Written by Diane Archer

Health care spending may not be growing as quickly as it has in the past, but most working Americans are not feeling the benefits. Increased health care costs are still eating into their wages. Wages are rising more slowly than people’s out of-pocket costs, including health care premiums and deductibles.

In fact, the latest data from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows a 23 percent increase in employee earnings in the eight years between 2006 and 2014. During the same period, there was a 72 percent increase in health insurance premiums and a more than doubling, 108 percent increase, in deductibles for individuals.

The chart below reveals the gap between worker wages and out-of-pocket health care costs, which continues to increase, despite a relatively slow rate of growth in overall health care spending. According to Drew Altman, “all signs suggest that out-of-pocket health costs will continue to rise faster than worker earnings.”

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