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For Retail Workers, No Bargains on Health Insurance

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AHRQ News and Numbers

Release date: December 13, 2006

Cashiers, clerks, store managers, and other retail employees are more likely than other types of U.S. workers to be required to meet a monetary deductible as part of their family health insurance plan, according to the latest News and Numbers summary issued by the Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

The average family plan deductible paid by retail workers is nearly $200 more than the national average, the analysis of 2004 data showed.

The snapshot of health insurance costs comes from an AHRQ-sponsored national survey of U.S. workers in nine industries: mining and manufacturing; construction; utilities and transportation; wholesale trade; financial services and real estate; retail trade; professional services; other services; and State & local government. Among the highlights of the report:

  • State and local government workers were the least likely to have a required deductible—42 percent.
  • Among retail workers, the average was 73 percent.
  • The national average was 56 percent.
  • Construction workers and those in wholesale trades experienced the highest average insurance deductibles for family coverage—$1,544 and $1,265, respectively.
  • Retail workers paid an average deductible of $1,254.
  • State and local government workers paid the lowest average deductible for family coverage, at $758.
  • Retail workers with mandatory office visit co-payments paid the most—an average of $19.25—while State and local government workers had the lowest average co-payment, at $14.95.

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), the nation's most complete survey of how Americans use and pay for health care, including their health insurance coverage.

For more information on this AHRQ News and Numbers summary, go to MEPS Statistical Brief No. 145: Copays, Deductibles, and Coinsurance for Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance in the Non-Federal Workforce, by Industry Classification, 2004 [PDF Help].

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

Current as of December 2006.


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