Remember when Obamacare was supposed to lower health insurance costs for Americans? Now, only a short time later, Obamacare has turned into Bidenflation, as health insurance costs are rising faster than they have in years, making life even harder for Americans already hurting from inflation. Anna Wilde Mathews reports in The Wall Street Journal:
Health-insurance costs are climbing at the steepest rate in years, walloping businesses and their workers.
Costs for employer coverage are expected to surge around 6.5% for 2024, according to major benefits consulting firms Mercer and Willis Towers Watson, which provided their survey results exclusively to The Wall Street Journal.
Willis Towers Watson, which goes by the initials WTW, projects the increase will be the biggest in more than a decade.
Such a boost could add significantly to the price tag for employer plans that already average more than $14,600 a year per employee, driving up health-insurance costs that are among the biggest expenses for many American companies and a drain on families’ finances.
For people who have individual insurance plans sold under the Affordable Care Act, premiums are also expected to rise by about 6% next year, according to public insurance filings analyzed by health-research nonprofit KFF, though that increase is comparable to this year’s.
Among the factors leading to the faster health-insurance cost growth are hospitals’ higher labor costs and heavy demand for new and expensive diabetes and obesity drugs.
The employer-plan increases are expected to strike businesses of all sizes, and regardless of whether they rely on an insurer to handle their health coverage or are self-insured.
Many workers will learn about their workplace coverage options for 2024 in the next few months, during the annual fall open-enrollment period. They will likelyend up paying more out of their paychecks for itas the overall expense goes up and some employers lift out-of-pocket costs to help offset the increases.
Yet many employers are expected to take on the lion’s share of the increase, partly due to a labor market that remains tight in many sectors, benefits consultants said.
Action Line: Americans on fixed incomes are hurting from Bidenflation, and increased health insurance costs will bleed through into higher prices for everything else. This could exacerbate any stagflation America experiences. Protect your family, and become a Survivor. Click here to subscribe to my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter today.