Health insurance costs rising faster than wages & inflation
The survey found the average family health insurance premium increased by 9% in 2011, costing more than $15,000 per year. The premium for single coverage rose 8% in the past year, with the average cost at $5,429 for individuals per year. During that time, workers’ wages rose by only 2.1% and general inflation was measured at 3.1%.
“This year’s nine percent increase in premiums is especially painful for workers and employers struggling through a weak economy,” said Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman, Ph.D.
On the macro level, family health premium has increased 113%, from $7,061 in 2001 to $15,073 in 2011, during the past decade, and worker contributions to health care costs increased by 131% during that period.
Unfortunately, the bad news doesn’t stop there. The Kaiser survey found that employers are starting to shift more of the health care costs to employees through high-deductible health plans. In 2011, 17% of covered workers were enrolled in high-deductible health plans compared to just 8% in 2009. Under such plans, workers are expected to pay at least $1,000 in deductible for single coverage and $2,000 for family coverage.
- Kaiser Family Foundation: News Release – Average annual premiums for family health benefits tops $15,000 in 2011, up 9 percent, substantially more than the growth in worker’s wages, benchmark employer survey finds
- Kaiser Family Foundation: Employer Health Benefits Survey 2011
- Kaiser Family Foundation: Employer Health Benefits Survey 2011 Summary Findings (PDF)
- Kaiser Family Foundation: Employer Health Benefits Survey 2011 Full Report (PDF)