Navigation Links
Cost of U.S. Workers' Health Premiums Surged in 2011

TUESDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Average annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage shot up 9 percent in the past year, to more than $15,000, according to new research from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust.

On average, U.S. workers now pay more than $4,000 each year towards health coverage, and the increase has far outpaced growth in workers' wages, the 2011 employer health benefits survey found.

"This year's 9 percent increase in premiums is especially painful for workers and employers struggling through a weak recovery," said Drew Altman, Kaiser President and CEO, in a news release issued Tuesday.

Premiums increased 2.1 percent faster than workers' pay, and 3.2 percent faster than general inflation, the researchers found. Overall, family premiums have surged 113 percent since 2001 -- significantly more than the 34 percent growth in wages and 27 percent for inflation.

In the wake of the 2010 health reform law affecting employer coverage, the survey also estimated 2.3 million uninsured young adults up to the age of 26 were added to their parents' employer-sponsored family health plans.

"The law is helping millions of young adults to obtain health coverage. In the past, many of these young adults would have lost coverage when they left home or graduated college," study author Gary Claxton, co-executive director of the Kaiser Initiative on Health Reform and Private Insurance, said in the news release.

The survey also revealed 31 percent of covered workers are in high-deductible health plans, having to pay at least $1,000 in deductibles for single coverage. Twelve percent of these workers face deductibles of at least $2,000.

People working for smaller businesses (fewer than 200 employees) are more likely to have these high deductibles, the research found. Fifty percent of workers in smaller firms face deductibles of at least $1,000, including 28 percent with deductibles topping $2,000.

This trend reflects a rise in high-deductible, consumer-driven plans over the past two years that contain tax-preferred savings options such as a Health Savings Account. As more firms offered these plans, the share of covered workers enrolled in them doubled, from 8 percent in 2009 to 17 percent in 2011, the survey revealed.

Moreover, recent health reform has resulted in 56 percent of covered workers being insured under "grandfathered" plans, which are exempt from some health reform requirements, such as having an external appeals process.

Among the other findings from the Kaiser Family Foundation study:

  • Premiums for worker-only health coverage increased 8 percent in 2011 to $5,429 annually. Workers pay an average of $921 toward this coverage.
  • The share of companies offering health insurance to their workers is 60 percent this year, virtually unchanged from 2009.
  • Covered workers pay an average of $22 in co-pays for primary care and $32 in co-pays for specialty care for in-network physicians.
  • Covered workers with three- and four-tier drug plans have average co-payments of $10 for generic drugs, $29 for preferred brand-name drugs, $49 for non-preferred brand-name drugs, and $91 for specialty drugs.
  • About 26 percent of large companies (200 or more employees) offer retiree health benefits in 2011, unchanged from last year and down significantly from 32 percent in 2007.

These findings, which reflect early provisions in health reform, will "provide valuable insight for employers, providers, consumers and policymakers as they prepare for additional provisions to take effect by 2014," Maulik Joshi, senior vice president for research at the American Hospital Association, said in the news release.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information on health insurance.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Kaiser Family Foundation, news release, Sept. 27, 2011

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Smithfield, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, and Food Networks Paula Deen to Deliver 150,000 Servings of Protein to San Francisco Food Bank
2. Hope Phones, IntraHealth and FrontlineSMS:Medic Collaborate on Phone Donation Campaign to Support Health Workers in Africa
3. March Is National Social Work Month: Social Workers Work to Inspire Community Action While Facing Threats of Budget Cuts
4. Galfand Berger Wins Important Case for Injured Workers in Pennsylvania
5. Teamsters, Religious Leaders Call on Ascension Health to Respect Rights of Workers, Patients and Communities
6. Free Seminars to Help Employers Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Among Workers Set for Phoenix, Reno, Salt Lake City, Denver in May
7. Mount Sinai researchers are the first to identify heart abnormalities in World Trade Center workers
8. New Research from EBRI: Older Workers Trending Toward More Part-Time Work
9. Georgia Firm Adds Medical Travel to Cut Costs, Provide Options for Workers
10. Looming unemployment harms older workers health
11. Shift workers at more risk for irritable bowel syndrome, U-M study says
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Cost of U.S. Workers' Health Premiums Surged in 2011
(Date:11/27/2015)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its ... exclusive list of CAAHEP accredited colleges, as only one of twelve colleges and universities ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Dr. Thomas Dunlap ... Inc. and Dr. Tucker Bierbaum with Emergency Medicine at St., Joseph Health ... both STEMI and Sepsis conditions present in similar ways and require time-critical intervention to ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer ... incorporation of Asterisk 11 LTS (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 product ... Q-Suite 5.10 up-to-date with a version of Asterisk that will receive not only ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 26, 2015 , ... Inevitably when people think Thanksgiving, they also think Holiday ... the Black Friday and Cyber Monday massage chair sales to receive the ... and low to find the best massage chair deals, they can see all of ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Somu Sivaramakrishnan announced today that ... Somu now offers travelers, value and care based Travel Services, including exclusive pricing ... well as, cabin upgrades and special amenities such as, shore excursions, discounted fares, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... of the "2016 Future Horizons and ... Abuse Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment ... to their offering. --> ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the  "2016 ... the European Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) ... Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities"  report to ... ) has announced the addition of ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 Research ... addition of the "2016 Future Horizons and ... (TDM) Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive ... --> --> ... analysis of the Italian therapeutic drug monitoring market, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: