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Family Health Premiums Rose 4% in 2012, Employer Health Benefits Survey Finds

The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) have released their annual national survey of nonfederal private and public employers with 3+ workers from January to May 2012. Key findings are summarized below.

Health Insurance Premiums and Worker Contributions

Average annual premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose 3% for individuals ($5,429 to $5,615) and 4% for families ($15,073 to $15,745) from 2011.  While this growth was lower than the 9% increase between 2010 and 2011, it was still more than double the 1.7% increase in average wages and greater than the general rate of inflation of 2.3%.  In the last 10 years, average worker contributions for family coverage have nearly doubled ($5,866 to $11,429), with the employer contribution increasing from $2,137 to $4,316.

Employee Cost Sharing

Like previous years, employees with single coverage in smaller firms (3-199 workers) have higher deductibles than those in larger firms (200+ workers).  An increasing percentage of workers are enrolled in plans with a general annual deductible of at least $1,000 for single coverage, with 49% of small firm workers and 34% of large firm workers enrolled in such plans.  This is a marked increase from 16% and 10% respectively in 2006.

Availability of Employer-Sponsored Coverage

The proportion of firms offering health benefits to their workers remained unchanged (61% in 2012, compared to 60% in 2011).  Like previous years, larger firms were more likely to offer health benefits to their employees, with 61% of small firms (3-199) and 98% of larger ones (200+) offering coverage.

Health Reform

With the ACA, young adults under the age of 26 are able to gain coverage through their parents’ health insurance plans.  In this survey, 29% of small firms and 90% of larger firms had at least one adult child enrolled under this provision; a total of 2.9 million adult children are currently enrolled through this provision, 1.1 million at smaller firms and 1.8 million at larger ones.

The full report, as well as a summary of the findings, are available online.

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