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How Affordability of Health Care Varies by Income among People with Employer Coverage

The affordability of health insurance and health care continue to be key public concerns.  While recent policy discussions have largely focused on the adequacy of financial assistance for those covered in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces and the nongroup market, millions of people with low incomes get their coverage through a workplace, where there are fewer protections from high costs.

This analysis uses information from the Current Population Survey to look at the average amounts and the shares of family income people in working families with employer-based coverage pay out-of-pocket toward their premiums and direct payments for medical care. It finds that lower income families spend a greater share of their income on health costs than those with higher incomes, and that health status of family members is associated with higher out-of-pocket expenses.

The analysis of part of the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker, an online information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system.