Health Care Costs Crystal Ball: Expect to Pay More in 2015

Health Care Costs Crystal Ball: Expect to Pay More in 2015

That the American economy is finally rebounding from the Great Recession might sound like good news. And it is—until you schedule an appointment to see your doctor.

A stronger job market means consumer spending on so-called “discretionary” items, such as health care, is going up, as people seek medical care for ailments they previously ignored.

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The result is that health care costs will likely increase in turn. In fact, a new report by Aon Hewitt predicts that employees will pay a whopping 55% more for health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical bills in 2015 than they did in 2010.

According to the report, in 2015, average health care costs will reach $11,304 per employee, up from $10,717 in 2014. Each worker will be responsible for about $2,664 of that, or almost 24% of the cost of their plan. Compare that to five years ago, when employees paid just $1,835, or around 22%.

When it comes to out-of-pocket costs, which include copayments, coinsurance and deductibles, the average worker will pay about $2,487. In 2009, that number was nearly 50% lower, at $1,276.

The good news is there’s an easy way to reduce how much you spend on medical care. A recent study suggests consumers who research the cost of treatment at different providers end up paying less than those who go in blind—so make sure you shop around.

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