Job-based health premiums increasing

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Sept. 26, 2014

In a nationwide employer health benefits survey of more than 2,000 businesses by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust (Kaiser/HRET), findings suggest the average premium changes over time rose modestly in the last year at three percent for family health care coverage and two percent for individual coverage compared to double digit premium increases from 2000 to 2004.

Annual health care coverage through an employer-sponsored program for a family of four costs an average $16,834 (2014), up from $16,351 (2013); while individual coverage costs an average $6,025 (2014), up from $5,884 (2013) – the smallest increase in 16 years. The findings also indicate the average family in 2014 pays 29 percent of their health coverage and 18 percent for single coverage (unchanged from 2013), while employers cover 71 percent for family insurance and 82 percent for single worker pay.

While these findings are quite positive, the average deductible, however, has been steadily rising – up 47 percent since 2009 – and is expected to outpace hikes in premium costs. Kaiser cited an improving economy and increases in health care spending as key factors in driving up premiums and further driving up deductibles.

Industry experts including the Employer Benefit Research Institute and others have suggested that employers faced with increases will likely mitigate cost by passing on costs to employees, including raising deductibles or payments for out-of-pocket doctor care.

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