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Reviewing How Healthcare Costs, Coverage Have Changed  

Every year, The Kaiser Foundation completes an extensive national survey of Employer Health Benefits. As healthcare had changed dramatically over the past 10 years, it provides some really good information, historical references and even some surprising statistics. Remember, these are national statistics. 

Premiums and Employer Contributions 

  • In 2017, the average single premiums for employer-based health insurance were $6,690; up 4 percent from 2016.   
  • Average family premiums (employee plus spouse and dependents) were $18,764; up 3 percent from 2016.   
  • The average premium for family coverage is LOWER for covered workers in small firms (3-199) than large employers. ($17,615 vs. 19,235) 
  • Premiums for family coverage have increased 19 percent since 2012, and 55 percent since 2007 
  • Premiums for those covered by high deductible health plans (HDHP) or HSA qualified plans were considerably lower (6 percent) than the average ($17,581 vs. $18,764)  
  • From 2007 to 2012, premiums increased a total of 30 percent and the employee share increased 32 percent; from 2012 to 2017, premiums increased a total of 19 percent and the employee share increased 32 percent. 

Deductibles and Plans 

  • 51 percent of workers have a deductible of $1,000 or greater (up from 31 percent five years ago) 
  • 37 percent of workers in small firms have a deductible of $2,000 or greater compared to 15 percent for those working in large firms 
  • 57 percent of workers have an annual out-of-pocket limit of $3,000 or higher; and 18 percent have an out-of-pocket limit of $6,000 or more. 

In 2018, the percentage of small firms (3 to 49 employees) offering health benefits decreased from 53 percent to 50 percent; while firms with 50 to 99 offering coverage increased from 89 percent to 90 percent. This is obviously tied to the Affordable Care Act pay or play mandate.   

Finally, 15 percent of firms now offer at least one plan option utilizing “high performance” or narrow health networks. These networks, while smaller, offer deeper discounts and thus a lower cost alternative for employers and employees.   

For more information on how your business can stay on the leading edge of employee benefits, contact the team at Crest Insurance in Flagstaff 928-526-5691. 

By Ed Gussio 

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