Family Health Premiums Rise 4 Percent

Posted: February 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

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It is no surprise to learn that health insurance premiums are continuing to climb and in a sharp fashion.  Annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $15,745 this year, up 4 percent from last year.  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) 2012 Employer Health Benefits Survey, over 25% of this is paid by the employee.

There are several differences in the low-wage and high-wage earner categories, according to the survey.  In a summary of the findings, the low-wage worker pays, on average, $1,000 more per employee than the high-wage worker.  In addition, the low-wage worker is forced to have higher deductibles.  Workers at the low end of the pay scale face significant out-of-pocket costs for coverage.

Other findings from the study:

  • Worker-Only Coverage – The average contribution was $5,615.
  • Offer Rate – This year, 61% of companies offer health benefits. (unchanged from last year)
  • Cost-Sharing for office visits, emergency care, and drugs  (Annual average co-pays)
    • Primary Care Visit – $23
    • Specialty Care Visit – $33
    • Emergency-Room Visit – $118
    • Generic Drugs – $10
    • Preferred Brand Name Drugs – $29
    • Non-Preferred Brand Name Drugs – $51
    • Specialty Drugs – $79
    • Domestic Partner Benefits – 31% of companies offered coverage to same-sex domestic partners.
    • Flexible Spending Accounts and Pre-Tax Premiums – Larger companies are more likely to allow contributions to medical plans via pre-tax dollars.

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