How to Manage Increasingly Higher Medical Deductibles

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Despite recent gains in the number of Americans who have health insurance, many people are still faced with paying for care out of pocket because of high deductibles.

A new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation, released this week, found that while health care premiums were growing modestly, employers were continuing to shift costs to workers in the form of higher deductibles — the amount patients must pay before their insurance kicks in. More workers have general annual deductibles, and the average this year is more than $1,300 for a single person, Kaiser found.

Insurers and employers say that the idea is that if people are responsible for more of the cost of their care, they will be more careful about how much they spend. But many Americans continue to be surprised by big bills for medical care they thought their health plan would cover, according to research from Consumer Reports.

Almost a third have received a medical bill, Consumer Reports said, for which they had to pay a greater share than they had anticipated and many ended up paying the bill in full.

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