The Kaiser Family Foundation has released its annual survey of employers and their healthcare coverage, including details about deductibles, premiums, and how much employees are contributing, The report reveals that the average deductible for an employee rose 5% in the past year, to $1,573. In the past decade, deductibles have doubled, while wages have only risen by 26%.
One of the more interesting and possibly problematic conclusions in the report is that employers may have reached the limit in the amount of additional costs they can pass on to employees when it comes to offsetting the rising cost of healthcare.
“If underlying health care prices and service use begin to grow as part of stronger economic growth, employer and health plans may need to look for tools other than higher cost sharing to address the pressures that would lead to higher premium growth,” the researchers wrote in the report.
Other points raised by the survey:
- The average premium for single coverage in 2018 is $6,896 per year. The average premium for family coverage is $19,616 per year
- The average annual premium for family coverage for covered workers in small firms ($18,739) is lower than the average premium for covered workers in large firms ($19,972)
- The average annual premiums for covered workers in HDHP/SOs are lower for single coverage ($6,459) and family coverage ($18,602) than overall average premiums. The average premiums for covered workers enrolled in PPOs are higher for single ($7,149) and family coverage ($20,324) than the overall plan average
- The average premium for covered workers with single coverage is higher in the Northeast ($7,172) than in all other regions. Compared to the average premium for family coverage for covered workers in other regions, the average family premium for covered workers in the Northeast ($20,697) is higher and the average family premium for covered workers in the South is lower ($19,057)
- The average premiums for covered workers vary across industries. The average premiums for covered workers in the Agriculture/Mining/Construction industry category are relatively lower for single ($6,241) and family ($17,417) coverage
- The average premiums for covered workers in firms with a relatively large share of older workers (where at least 35% of the workers are age 50 or older) are higher than the average premiums for covered workers in firms with a smaller share of older workers ($7,288 vs. $6,560 for single coverage and $20,463 vs. $18,887 for family coverage)
- The average premiums for covered workers in firms with at least some union workers are higher than the average premiums for covered workers in firms without union workers for family coverage ($20,333 vs. $19,234)
- Premiums also vary by type of firm ownership. For both single and family coverage, covered workers at private for-profit firms have lower average annual premiums than covered workers at public firms or private not-for-profit firms