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Yearly Premiums for Family Health Coverage Rise to $12,680 in 2008, Up 5 Percent, As Many Workers Also Face Higher Deductibles
Date:9/24/2008

Workers Pay An Average Of $3,354 Annually Toward Family Coverage, More Than Double What They Paid Nine Years Ago

Growing Shares of Workers Now Face Deductibles Of At Least $1,000,

Including More Than One-Third Of Those Covered By Smaller Firms

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose to $12,680 annually for family coverage this year -- with employees on average paying $3,354 out of their paychecks to cover their share of the cost -- and the scope of that coverage has changed, with many more workers now enrolled in high-deductible plans, according to the 2008 Employer Health Benefits Survey released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET). Key findings from the benchmark annual survey of small and large employers were also published today as a Web Exclusive in the journal Health Affairs.

Premiums rose a modest 5 percent this year, but they have more than doubled since 1999 when total family premiums stood at $5,791 (of which workers paid $1,543). During the same nine-year period, workers' wages increased 34 percent and general inflation rose 29 percent.

This year many workers are also facing higher deductibles in their plans, including a growing number with general plan deductibles of at least $1,000 -- 18 percent of all covered workers in 2008, up from 12 percent last year. This is partly, but not entirely, driven by growth in consumer-directed plans such as those that qualify for a tax-preferred Health Savings Account.

The shift has been most dramatic for workers in small businesses with three to 199 workers, where more than one in three (35 percent) covered workers must pay at least $1,000 out of pocket before their plan generally will start to pay a share of their health-care bills -- rising from 21 percent last year. For workers facing deductibles in Preferred Provider Organizations, the most common type o
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SOURCE Henry J. Kaiser Foundation
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