Medicare could face higher deductible

Dec. 1, 2003 at 1:48 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- The recent Medicare legislation passed by Congress could result in more employers requiring employees to pay more toward health care.

The average annual deductible in preferred provider organizations is $561 for 2003, up from $340 in 2000, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. But the new law could result in some employers raising the deductible to $1,000.

The legislation does allow individuals to set aside money tax-free in health savings accounts, but to qualify they must have a $1,000 deductible for individuals and $2,000 for families, USA Today reported.

"It will hasten movement away from low-deductible plans," said economist Paul Ginsburg of the Center for Studying Health System Change, a non-partisan think tank.

The law coincides with a new type of insurance policy called "consumer-driven plans" that offer some kind of high-deductible policy coupled with a tax-deductible medical savings account, USA Today said.

Some employers contribute to the saving account, but require workers to pay for part of their own medical costs.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending News
Study: Runner's high similar to effects of marijuana
Study details Greenland's ice sheet plumbing system
8 things you didn't know about baby gorillas
Blood test rules out heart attack faster than standard tests
Researchers simulate part of a rat brain