The average premium for family coverage in employer health plans is up about 4% this year to more than $21,000 — and employers are picking up more of the tab.
Workers on average aren’t being asked to pay more in premiums for family coverage and those with individual coverage through their work aren’t seeing increases in deductibles, according survey results Thursday from the California-based Kaiser Family Foundation.
The findings speak to the stability of health benefits in the pre-pandemic economy when employers were competing for talent in a tight labor market, said Matthew Rae, an associate director at the foundation, which has surveyed employers on health plan costs for 22 years. Obviously, the current labor market is vastly different, Rae noted, with last month’s unemployment rate roughly twice the comparable figure last year.
“The premiums and health plans that we were asking about were plans that employers were setting a year ago when we had historically low unemployment,” Rae said.
“I would expect that not that many employers are going to make huge changes in the generosity of their plans over the next couple of months,” he said. “But the economic situation is really hard to put your finger on. It could be that employers will have to think about the generosity of their plans if they are really facing a lot of other costs.”
The Kaiser Family Foundation survey tacks trends in the market for employer-sponsored health plans, which provide coverage for more than 150 million Americans. Employer coverage is the largest single source of insurance in the U.S., with more enrollees than the federal Medicare program.
When Kaiser first surveyed employers on premium costs