Americans Report Healthcare Premiums Increased Over Past Year

Americans are more likely to be facing higher premium costs than in previous years, according to Gallup poll results.

A new Gallup poll finds that 74% of Americans who pay some portion of their health insurance premiums say the amount they pay has increased over the past year. In 2014, 67% said the same. Gallup reports that the increase is in line with what the organization’s polling has found since 2003.

These results from Gallup’s annual Health and Healthcare poll come as many insurers have raised premiums, deductibles, copays, and coinsurance for plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and as the growth in national healthcare spending has accelerated 5.3% in 2014.

Although Americans are still more likely to be satisfied than dissatisfied with their personal healthcare costs, Gallup said they are more likely to be facing higher premium costs than in previous years. Healthcare costs remain a top issue for Americans and approximately one-third said high costs led them to put off medical treatment for themselves or a relative.

“While they have become more amenable to the concept of the government being responsible for providing healthcare, Americans remain overall disapproving of the ACA,” Gallup states.

Although yearly increases have been the norm, Gallup suggests that Americans are feeling them more sharply than usual. Since 2003 most adults who pay all or some portion of their premiums have consistently reported that their costs have gone up, but until now many more said the costs went up “a little,” whereas they now say “a lot.” In the latest poll these reported figures are nearly tied: 38% said costs went up a little and 36% said costs went up a lot. According to Gallup, the shift comes from an 8 percentage point increase this year in those saying their costs rose a lot, bringing it to the highest percentage the Gallup poll has measured since first asking the question in 2003.

The poll results also show that Americans with health insurance are receiving less support from employers in paying premiums. Twenty-eight percent pay the full amount of their premiums, a figure on the high end of the trend dating back to 2001. Ten percent say an employer pays all of the cost of the premium, a figure that is consistent with recent reports, but which is down by more than 50% from the high of 24% in 2001. Thus, most Americans are sharing the costs of health insurance with an employer, but the current figure of 58% is on the low end of the trend reported since 2001. Gallup notes that most of the decline occurred in the past 2 years since the enactment of the ACA.