Average Cost Of Private Health Insurance Family Of 4 - A news release from Benchmark Employer Survey found average family premiums now top $20,000 among affordability challenges, with workers at low-wage employers nearly half as likely as other workers to be covered by their employers
San Francisco. - Annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose 5% this year to an average of $20,576, according to the 2019 Benchmark Employer Health Benefits Survey released today. Over the same period, workers' wages rose by 3.4% and inflation increased by 2%.
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On average, workers contribute $6,015 to family coverage this year, with employers paying the rest.
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Despite the nation's strong economy and low unemployment, what employers and workers pay for premiums continues to rise over time faster than workers' wages and inflation. Since 2009, average family premiums have increased 54% and workers' compensation has increased 71%, several times higher than wages (26%) and inflation (20%).
82% of currently covered workers have a deductible in their plan, the same as last year and up from 63% a decade ago. The average single deduction for workers is now $1,655, up from the $826 average a decade ago, as was last year's average of $1,573. These two trends have resulted in a total 162% increase in the burden of deductibles among all covered workers over the past decade.
About a quarter (28%) of all covered workers, including nearly half (45%) of small employers with fewer than 200 employees, are now in plans with at least a $2,000 deductible, nearly four times the share that faced such deductibles in 2009. One in eight (13%) now face at least $3,000 in deductibles.
"The biggest problem with health care for many Americans is that their health costs are rising much faster than their wages," said President and CEO Drew Altman. "Costs are prohibitive when workers earning $25,000 a year have to pay $7,000 a year for their share of family premiums."
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Nearly 153 million Americans rely on employer-sponsored coverage, and the 21st annual survey of more than 2,000 small and large employers provides a detailed picture of the trends affecting it. In addition to the full report and summary of findings released today, the journal Health Affairs has published an article online with selected findings. The article "Health benefits in 2019: Premiums inch higher, employers respond to federal policy" also appears in its October issue.
An updated interactive graphic charting the survey's premium trends by company size, industry and other company characteristics and a special report highlighting the views and experiences of large employers based on focus-group discussions conducted in partnership with the Peterson Center on Health were also released. labor
As the debate over Medicare-for-all in the Democratic presidential primary turns on the role of employee-sponsored health benefits, the survey found that workers at firms with the most low-wage employees have some of the biggest challenges in providing coverage to employees. . their families. Among organizations that do offer coverage, employers with many low-wage workers (earning $25,000 or less a year) offer health benefits to a small portion of their workforce, and workers pay higher premiums than other employers. Definitely:
"Employer-sponsored coverage doesn't come cheap for employers or workers, and many who work in low-wage firms or small businesses find it too expensive to cover their families," said Gary Claxton, senior vice president and director of health. Care Marketplace Project, and lead author of the study and Health Affairs article.
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The survey also shows employers' experiences and opinions regarding several provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In 2017, Congress eliminated the ACA's tax penalty for people who didn't have effective health insurance for the tax year, raising questions about whether it would cause workers to drop their coverage. The survey found that 9% of offer firms with at least 50 workers say the removal of the individual mandate penalty has led to fewer workers and is dependent on this year.
The ACA also includes a tax on high-cost health plans, sometimes called the "Cadillac tax," that was originally set to go into effect in 2018, but Congress delayed the tax until 2022 and the House recently voted to repeal it all together. . The survey found that only 16% of employers with at least 50 workers expect the tax to take effect in 2022. One-third of organizations say the upcoming tax is "very" or "somewhat" important to their health profit making decisions for the current year.
Conducted annual employer survey between January and July 2019. It included 2,012 randomly selected, non-federal public and private organizations with three or more employees who responded to the completed survey. Another 2,383 companies responded to a question about providing coverage. For more information on survey methodology, see the Survey Design and Methods section.
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Health Affairs is a leading peer-reviewed journal at the intersection of health, health care and policy. Published monthly by Project HOPE, this magazine is available in print and online. Late breaking content is also found on healthaffairs.org, Health Affairs Today and Health Affairs Sunday Update.
Project Hope is a global health and humanitarian aid organization that puts power in the hands of local healthcare workers to save lives around the world. Project Hope has published Health Affairs since 1981. The cost of employer-sponsored health insurance, including premiums, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs, has risen steadily over time. Few employer plans (only 7% of establishments with 50 or more workers in 2020) have programs to help low-wage workers meet cost-sharing obligations. Low-income workers provided with health insurance by their employer are generally not eligible for subsidies on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, even though they have lower costs to purchase coverage and lower cost sharing. Although most employers pay a significant portion of health insurance premiums, some workers have relatively high contributions to enroll in coverage, especially when enrolling dependents.
In this brief, we analyze the Current Population Survey and examine the share of family income individuals with employer-based coverage pay for their premiums and copayments for medical care. We specifically examine individuals in working households, restricting the analysis to full-time workers and non-elderly individuals living with one or more family members who have employer-based coverage.
We found that individuals in low-income households with employer coverage spend a greater proportion of their income on health costs than those with higher incomes, and that the health status of family members is associated with higher health-related expenditures.
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Compared to people with higher incomes, those with lower incomes spend a significantly higher share of their income on health premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.
Overall, individuals in households with employer coverage spend 2.7% of their income and another 1.3% of their income to enroll in employer-based coverage. . Among individuals with employer-based coverage, the share of household income spent on health insurance premium contributions and payments for medical care varies significantly by income. For families with incomes at 199% of the federal poverty level and below, health insurance premiums and average family payments for medical care combined average 10.4% of family income. A significant portion of the cost is for premium contributions. Currently, those in households with incomes at or above 400% of the federal poverty level pay 3.5% of household income on premium contributions and medical expenses.
Households with at least one member in poor health spend more of their income on medical expenses than those in better health.
Living with someone in fair or poor health can add significantly to family health care costs, even for people with employer-based coverage. People with employer coverage often have a deductible, requiring an enrollee to spend thousands of dollars before the plan covers most services. We compared the share of household income spent on premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses among households in which everyone covered by employer coverage reported being in good health (good, very good, or excellent health) with those in which at least one member was poor. Health (fair or poor). All households with all members in good health spend 4% of their income on premium contributions and out-of-pocket medical expenses, compared with 7% in households with at least one member in fair or poor health.
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Employer-based coverage is the most common source of health insurance for non-elderly Americans. The level of financial protection from high health care costs varies significantly by employer plans and family income. Individuals in low-income households (below 200% of poverty) spend an average of 10.4% of their household income on premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, compared to 6.9% for individuals in households with incomes between 200% and 399%. poverty, and 3.5% for people with 400% or more of income. Households with at least one member in poor health have higher premium contributions and out-of-pocket medical costs across all income groups.
Employer health plans can expose thousands of low- and moderate-income families
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