Here’s how presidential candidates would address soaring out-of-pocket costs

Recent studies from the Urban Institute, Kaiser Family Foundation and TransUnion show Americans are increasingly concerned with rising insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Even middle-class families with incomes above the threshold for subsidized exchange coverage are experiencing affordability problems. Nearly 25 percent of Americans surveyed last September who had coverage through employer plans, the Affordable Care Act exchanges or commercial plans reported difficulties paying family medical bills in the past 12 months, according to the Urban Institute's Health Reform Monitoring Survey.

Here's how the candidates have said they plan to address to unaffordable out-of-pocket costs, reports Crain's Chicago Business.

1. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has proposed the most direct assistance plan. She said she would require the following stipulations from health plans: cover three annual sick visits to a physician without applying the deductible, give insured families a $5,000 refundable tax credit for out-of-pocket costs exceeding 5 percent of their income, bar providers and insurers from charging patients out-of-pocket rates for services performed at in-network hospitals, and strengthen state authority to block excessive premium increases.

2. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said he wants to eliminate premiums and cost-sharing enterprises entirely by establishing a tax-funded government single-payer insurance program covering the full range of healthcare services.

3. Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, released a seven-point agenda that doesn't directly address out-of-pocket costs. It would, however, offer households a tax deduction for buying coverage, expand health savings accounts and enable insurers to sell plans across state lines.

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