Donate Today!



 

Sign-Up for Newsletter!

 

Popular content

Survey: Health Care Premiums Soar for Many Employees

by Jason Kane

As the economy sputters and many firms struggle to keep their health benefits, the news officially became even bleaker on Tuesday: Premiums for employer-sponsored health coverage shot up 9 percent last year. That's significantly more than the average increase in wages, according to a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Education Trust.

The typical premium for an American family now comes to $15,073 -- with workers paying $4,129 of that amount and employers covering the rest. The average rate for an individual reached $5,429 annually, with workers paying $921 toward the coverage. In the past decade, premiums have increased 113 percent, while workers' wages and inflation have only risen 34 percent and 27 percent, respectively. (photo: M.V. Jantzen)

The premium hike this year -- triple what it was in 2010 -- towers above a 2.1 percent rise in wages and 3.2 percent jump in inflation.

While significant, the news is a continuation of a long-standing trend. In the past decade, premiums have increased 113 percent, while workers' wages and inflation have only risen 34 percent and 27 percent, respectively.

The survey -- considered a gold standard for tracking employer-based insurance numbers -- also found that American companies added 2.3 million young adults to their parents' family health insurance policies as a result of the health reform overhaul.

Also significant: This year, nearly a third of workers (31 percent) have health plans with deductibles of $1,000 or more. Twelve percent of those same individuals have deductibles of $2,000 or more. In small firms, a full half face deductibles topping $1,000.

The upswing in high deductibles comes in part from a rising number of employers offering "consumer-driven plans" with tax-preferred savings options such as Health Savings Accounts or Health Reimbursement Arrangements. The number of employees opting for the plans increased from 8 percent in 2009 to 17 percent in 2011.

This is the 13th year Kaiser and HRET have conducted the Employer Health Benefits Survey, which aims to paint a "detailed picture of trends in private health insurance costs and coverage."

Comments are closed

17 Comments so far

Show All