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Health premiums steady, out-of-pocket costs spiral

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

Single and family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose an average of 4% this year, continuing a decade-long period of moderate growth, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust 2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey released Sept. 10.  

Since 2005, premiums have grown an average of 5% each year, compared to 11% annually between 1999 and 2005.

The average annual premium for single coverage in 2015 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 found that 81% 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% 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% 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%).

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