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Is Employee Health Insurance Failing Americans?

It’s a quiet crisis that has flown under the radar: Job-based health plans have become unaffordable for a growing share of the 156 million Americans who rely on them. Rising health care prices have led to soaring deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, prompting hard decisions: Half of American families with job-based plans say they ration trips to the doctor, bypass the ER, and leave prescriptions unfilled, according to a recent survey by the Los Angeles Times and the Kaiser Family Foundation. Even so, one in eight insured workers with a chronically ill family member face bankruptcy due to medical debt. Employers across America have shifted ever-greater costs onto workers as U.S. health care costs continue to climb. That means there is a host of urgent stories to be told about the struggles of Americans with job-based plans. This webinar will give you the context and key data points to tell urgent and relatable local stories for your audience and communities. 

WHEN: July 23, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. PT / 2-3 p.m. ET

REGISTER: [Now closed]

Our panelists:

Noam N. Levey writes about national health care policy for the Los Angeles Times out of Washington, D.C. He covered passage of the 2010 Affordable Care Act and has written extensively about the landmark law and reported on its implementation from around the country. Prior to joining the Times in 2003, Levey was an investigative reporter for the San Jose Mercury News in Silicon Valley. He has also written for Health Affairs and the Journal of the American Medical Association. A Boston native and a graduate of Princeton University, Levey reported for the Times from Washington since 2006.

Larry Levitt is executive vice president for health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation. He previously was editor-in-chief of the foundation’s online health policy news and information website, and directed the foundation’s communications and online activities. Prior to joining the foundation, he served as a senior health policy advisor to the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services, working on the development of President Clinton’s Health Security Act and other health policy initiatives. Earlier, he was the special assistant for health policy for California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, a medical economist with Kaiser Permanente, and served in a number of positions in Massachusetts state government. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Dr. Arnold Milstein is the medical director of the Pacific Business Group on Health and the director of the Clinical Excellence Research Center at Stanford’s School of Medicine. He also serves as the National Health Care Through Leader at William Mercer. At Stanford University, his work focuses on designing and demonstrating new health care delivery models that lower spending and improve patients’ experience of care. Previously, he co-founded the Leapfrog Group, an employer-based coalition advocating for improved transparency, quality and safety in hospitals, and served as a Congressional MedPAC commissioner. He has also chaired the Institute of Medicine’s planning committee looking at methods to lower per capita health care spending while improving outcomes. Milstein graduated from Harvard University, received his M.D. from Tufts, and holds a master’s degree in public health from Berkeley.

 Webinars are free and made possible by The Commonwealth Fund and the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation. 

Presenters' slides:


Suggested reading

Soaring insurance deductibles and high drug prices hit sick Americans with a ‘double whammy’,” by Noam Levey, Los Angeles Times

Three kids, a health plan and $15,000 in medical debt: A working family tries to make ends meet,” by Noam Levey, Los Angeles Times

Health insurance deductibles soar, leaving Americans with unaffordable bills,” by Noam Levey, Los Angeles Times

Kaiser Family Foundation/LA Times Survey Of Adults With Employer-Sponsored Insurance,” by Liz Hamel, Cailey Muñana and Mollyann Brodie, Kaiser Family Foundation 

State-level data briefs:

How Much U.S. Households with Employer Insurance Spend on Premiums and Out-of-Pocket Costs: A State-by-State Look,” by Susan L. Hayes, Sara R. Collins and David C. Radley, The Commonwealth Fund 





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