Posted on September 23th

Since 2010, Deductibles for All Workers Have Risen Almost Three Times as Fast as Premiums and About Seven Times as Fast as Wages and Inflation

Facing New Requirements, Few Employers Make Changes to Workers’ Hours

Menlo Park, Calif. – Single and family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose an average of 4 percent this year, continuing a decade-long period of moderate growth, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) 2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey released today. Since 2005, premiums have grown an average of 5 percent each year, compared to 11 percent annually between 1999 and 2005.

The average annual premium for single coverage is $6,251, of which workers on average pay $1,071.  The average family premium is $17,545, with workers on average contributing $4,955.

The survey also finds that 81 percent of covered workers are in plans with a general annual deductible, which average $1,318 for single coverage this year. Covered workers in smaller firms (three to 199 workers) face an average deductible of $1,836 this year. That’s 66 percent more than the $1,105 average deductible facing covered workers at large firms (at least 200 workers).

Since 2010, both the share of workers with deductibles and the size of those deductibles have increased sharply. These two trends together result in a 67 percent increase in deductibles since 2010, much faster than the rise in single premiums (24%) and about seven times the rise in workers’ wages (10%) and general inflation (9%).

“With deductibles rising so much faster than premiums and wages, it’s no surprise that consumers have not felt the slowdown in health spending,” Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman said.

“Employees are benefiting from stable employer health benefits coverage and modest premium growth,” said Maulik Joshi, president of HRET, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association. “Also noteworthy is that many employers are tying financial incentives to employee participation in health and wellness programs.”

The 17th annual Kaiser/HRET survey of nearly 2,000 small and large employers provides a detailed picture of the status and trends in employer-sponsored health insurance, costs and coverage, including employers’ responses to provisions of the Affordable Care Act. In addition to the full report and summary of findings released today, the journal Health Affairs is publishing a Web First article with select findings, and the Foundation is releasing an updated interactive graphic that allows users to chart the survey’s premium trends for different groups, including by firm size, region and industry.

 

KP

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