May 12, 2014 by Tony Novak
CBS News reported that the Affordable Care Act has turned out to be less than affordable for some consumers because many of the plans carry huge deductibles, creating potential financial problems for middle-class consumers. “Bronze”-level plans, the most popular lowest level of coverage, carry deductibles as high as $12,700 per year for a family of four. The Wall Street Journal says that represents an increased financial risk 40 percent higher than the average deductible for policy before the federal health care overhaul. After the close of the 2014 enrollment season Ehealth reported that the highest deductibles were in Alabama where the average policy deductible issued was $5,715.It is easy to conclude that the highest deductible policies are a burden to those who are least able to pay for an out-of-pocket claim. Freedom Benefits advises that, where possible, the employer should provide deductible supplement insurance. This coverage can be provided on an individual or group basis, is tax-deductible to the employer, tax-free to the employee and does not need to follow any non-discrimination rules. In short, it can be provided under whatever terms the employer sees fit. Additionally, this benefit can be provided at different level of coverage, so the cost can be as much or as little as desired. I provide personal benefit design assistance to small firms engaged in the process of designing the most effective employee health plan. This approach can help the employer’s dollars go farther.