Health insurance costs for Americans who get their coverage through work continued a relentless march upward with average family premiums rising 4% to $21,342 this year, according to a study published Thursday.

The annual survey by KFF found workers on average are paying nearly $5,600 this year toward family coverage, up from about $4,000 in 2010 and $1,600 in 2000. (KHN is an editorially independent program of KFF.)

While health insurance costs rose a modest amount in 2020, as has been the trend in recent years, they soared 55% in the past decade — more than twice the pace of inflation and wages.

About 157 million Americans rely on employer-sponsored coverage — far more than any other type of coverage, including Medicare, Medicaid and individually purchased insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges. More than half of employers provide insurance to at least some workers.

“Conducted partly before the pandemic, our survey shows the burden of health costs on workers remains high, though not getting dramatically worse,” Drew Altman, KFF’s CEO, said in a statement. “Things may look different moving forward as employers grapple with the economic and health upheaval sparked by the pandemic.”

The survey was conducted from January to July as the coronavirus pandemic took hold and upended the nation’s economy. Many of the details of the employers’ plans that the researchers examined were set before the virus hit.

Since 2012, the cost of family coverage has increased 3% to 5% annually. It’s been more than 15 years since these costs were rising at double-digit rates.

Employers help shield workers from much of the cost of their health insurance premiums, though employees often feel the impact via higher deductibles, copayments and lower wages.

On average, workers pay 17% of the premium for single coverage and 27% for family

The stock market was volatile on Tuesday after posting solid gains to start the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) was up 0.37% at 1:10 p.m. EDT today, outperforming the other major indexes.

One thing keeping the stock market in check could be comments from Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, who warned on Tuesday that too little government aid would lead to a weak economic recovery. Congress has yet to agree on additional stimulus measures, and an agreement does not appear close.

Shares of Boeing (NYSE: BA) were moving in the wrong direction on Tuesday after the airplane manufacturer predicted a difficult decade ahead. Meanwhile, the stock of Walmart (NYSE: WMT) was little changed after the retailer announced an insurance brokerage business.

An airplane.

Image source: Getty Images.

Boeing forecasts tough years ahead

The coronavirus pandemic has greatly reduced demand for air travel. While the number of daily air passengers in the United States has improved since bottoming out in April, the Transportation Security Administration is still reporting year-over-year declines around 65%.

This lack of demand for air travel will have longer-term implications for the aviation industry. In its 2020 market outlook, Boeing predicted demand for 18,350 commercial airplanes over the next decade, down 11% from the comparable 2019 forecast.

While the next decade will be tough, Boeing is more optimistic when a 20-year period is considered. The company expects demand for 43,000 commercial airplanes over the next 20 years, which will drive the size of the global commercial fleet from 25,900 today to 48,400 by 2039. Passenger traffic is expected to grow by an average of 4% annually over the next two decades.

Boeing expects single-aisle airplanes to be the largest market segment, predicting 20-year demand of 32,270 planes. This category includes its 737 MAX, which is still grounded