Health Care Use and Spending Patterns Vary by Wage Level in Employer-Sponsored Plans

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Employees face an increasing financial burden for health services as health care costs increase relative to earnings. Yet little is known about health care utilization patterns relative to employee wages.

In this article, patterns of health care use and spending by wage category are examined from employees of four self-insured employers enrolled in a private health insurance exchange.

The findings provide new insights about wage-associated variations in health care use and spending in employer-sponsored plans. For policy makers, these findings can inform employer benefit design strategies and research priorities, to encourage effective use of health care services.