Cost Of Family Health Insurance Coverage Reaches All-Time High
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Cost Of Family Health Insurance Coverage Reaches All-Time High

EPF September 28, 2019

Through its annual Employer Health Benefits Survey, researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) found that the average cost of family health insurance coverage reached a record $20,576 – up 5% year-over-year. The 2019 survey included responses from 2,012 private and public firms, with 56% of small firms and 99% of large firms offering their employees some form of health insurance coverage.

Family Coverage

Since 2009, average family health insurance premiums have increased 54%.

At small firms, the average cost is $20,236, while at large firms the average cost is $20,717. For individuals enrolled in High-deductible Health Plans (HDHP), premiums came in at $18,980 – $1,596 below the overall average. For individuals enrolled in Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plans, the average cost came in at $21,683 – $1,107 above the overall average.

Across industry, family health insurance costs were lowest for retail employees – at $18,693 – and highest for state and local government employees at $21,819.

Average family premiums at companies where at least 35% of employees earn $25,000 or less in annual income was lower than comparable firms with minimal low-wage workers. The average cost was $17,633 at lower-wage companies versus $20,709 at higher-wage companies.

The average family premiums at companies where at least 35% of employees are 50 or older was higher than comparable firms with a lower percentage of older workers. The average cost was $21,491 for older workforce companies versus $19,807 for younger workforce companies.

Employees at public and private not-for-profit firms also pay more for family coverage than employees at private for-profit firms. The findings were similar across both family and single coverage plans.

Single Coverage

Single applicants paid an average of $7,188 per year for health insurance coverage, with an average deductible of $1,655. For individuals enrolled in HDHP plans, the average cost was $6,412. For those enrolled in PPO plans, the average cost was $7,675.

However, unlike the family data above, there was plenty of variance by industry.

State and local government employees incurred the highest average health insurance cost at $8,187 annually. Health care was second at $7,480, while transportation, communications and utilities was third at $7,381. Conversely, retail workers paid the lowest at $6,262 annually, while manufacturing workers paid $6,770 and agriculture, mining and construction workers paid $6,777.

In-line with the family findings though, workers at firms where at least 35% of employees earn $25,000 or less paid an average of $6,189 for single coverage versus $7,233 elsewhere. Likewise, workers at firms where at least 35% of employees are 50 or older paid an average of $6,941 for single coverage versus $7,485 elsewhere.

Premium Variance

KFF researchers also found that 17% of single coverage employees had premiums that were at least 20% higher than the overall average, while 19% of employees had premiums that were 80% less than the overall average. For family coverage, 19% of employees had premiums that were at least 20% higher than the overall average, while another 19% of employees had premiums that were 80% less than the overall average.

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