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Wall Street Journal: The Math Behind Higher Health-Care Deductibles

 By. Melanie Evans, Yaryna Serkez, and Merrill Sherman 

More U.S. workers are taking a bigger out-of-pocket hit from their employer-provided health plans. Blame high deductibles.

High-deductible plans required patients to spend $2,200 to $4,300, on average, in 2016 before insurance kicked in, and amounts can be significantly more. Employers have embraced high deductibles to cut the amount they have to pay for their employees' premiums. Half of Americans with health coverage get it through their jobs, Census Bureau figures show.

New data from the Health Care Cost Institute, a research nonprofit with insurance data on 40 million Americans with employer health benefits, offer a rare look at how widespread high deductibles have become in employer-sponsored plans across 40 metropolitan areas.