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One-Third More Insured Workers Required to Meet a Deductible

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AHRQ News and Numbers

Release date: November 21, 2007

A growing number of U.S. private sector workers are covered by health plans that require them to meet a deductible before any benefits are paid by their insurer, according to the latest News and Numbers summary from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The amount of that deductible also is increasing sharply.

  • The number of workers with insurance plans requiring a deductible to be met rose from 48 percent in 2002 to 64 percent in 2005.
  • For workers with single-person coverage, the average annual deductible increased 46 percent—from $446 to $652.
  • For workers with family coverage, the average annual deductible rose 29 percent—from $958 to $1,232.
  • Workers for firms with fewer than 50 employees had steeper increases in their average deductible than did workers in large firms (50 or more employees). Insurance deductibles at small firms for single-person and family coverage rose, respectively, from $602 to $929 and from $1,371 to $1,899.

AHRQ, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, works to enhance the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care in the United States. The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, the frequency with which they are used, the cost of those services, and how they are paid.

For more information, access Deductibles for Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance in the Private Sector, by Firm Size Classification, 2002-2005, MEPS Statistical Brief No. 190.

For other information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Bob Isquith at or call (301) 427-1539.

Current as of November 2007


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