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Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rose 4 percent in past year: analysis

Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rose 4 percent in past year: analysis

Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rose 4 percent over the past year, outpacing the increase in workers’ wages and the rate of inflation, according to an analysis released Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Average annual premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance are now $7,470 for a single plan and $21,342 for a family plan, up 4 percent from the previous year. Those dollar amounts include both worker and employer contributions.

Meanwhile, wages increased by 3.4 percent alongside 2.1 percent inflation. 

About 157 million people get their insurance through work, and the costs have steadily risen over the years.

The average premium for family coverage, including the employer contribution, has increased 22 percent over the last five years and 55 percent over the last decade.

In 2020, on average, workers contributed 17 percent of the premium for single coverage — about $1,243 — and 27 percent for family coverage, or about $5,588.

Rising health care costs have been one of the reasons behind stagnant wages.

Eighty-three percent of covered workers had an annual deductible for single coverage that must be met because most services are paid for by the plan, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.

The average deductible for single coverage was $1,644 in 2020, similar to the average deductible last year.

Sixty-five percent of covered workers have coinsurance that requires they pay for a percentage of their care of meeting their deductible.

The analysis concluded that health care costs were stable in 2020, with premium increases modest and consistent with recent years. However, as the analysis was conducted in the early days of the pandemic, it doesn’t address how employers responded to it.

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