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Significant Erosion of Wages From Rising Health Premiums Seen Over Decades

Health economists and others have long argued that rising health benefit costs are eroding wages for millions of working Americans. A new report provides the latest evidence to support this premise.

Monthly premium increases over the past three decades have consumed $125,000 in earnings from the average family with employer-provided group health insurance, according to a Tufts University study. The findings carry significant weight for us. Here’s why: A previous study estimated that medical pricing irregularities, fraud, and abuse –which we work tirelessly to combat – cost between $289 billion and $324 billion.

It comes at a time when other research suggests that far too many uninsured and insured Americans have delayed or foregone medical treatment because of the cost. Households are struggling to save for emergency expenses and in record numbers filing for personal bankruptcy – the leading cause of which is now unpaid medical bills.

Employer-provided health insurance costs $24,000 on average for family coverage, reports the Kaiser Family Foundation. Premium growth – along with higher annual deductibles, copays, and coinsurance – has outpaced wage growth, gobbling up a larger share of total compensation. Health care premiums, which on average accounted for 7.9% of total comp in 1988, more than doubled to 17.7% by 2019.

Health benefit premiums affect low-income earners and marginalized communities the hardest. These rising out-of-pocket costs eat into housing, food, clothing, and other basic expenses for households that are barely making ends meet.

While WellRithms cannot derail legitimate underlying costs that drive up premiums we continue to do our part to review and reprice egregious medical bills through the industry’s most advanced payment-integrity solution and expertise from surgeons and physicians. These efforts help ensure that hard-working Americans who receive their health insurance through work have more take-home pay in their pockets to spend freely on necessities or other items.

Leveling the Paying Field™

We’re helping plan sponsors significantly reduce their healthcare claims costs while delivering unmatched member protection and guaranteed savings. It’s a commitment that drives our team of physician experts to uncover, review, and reprice medical bills – averting medical overbilling on behalf of self-funded employers, unions, brokers, and administrators.

Today, there’s no reason why claims errors and deliberate overbilling should cost billions of dollars every year. With WellRithms as an ally, payors prevent those losses and reap the savings.

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