News

Annual Premium for Family Health Coverage Nearly $19,000 This Year

Report says employees paid record 31% of annual premium for family benefits.

Confirming what employers and employees are feeling in their wallets, a new report says companies are paying more to provide health benefits to their workers, and workers are picking up more of the tab.
 
The average annual premium for family health coverage increased 3.4 percent to $18,764 this year from $18,142 in 2016, according to the 2017 Employer Health Benefits Survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust. The average annual premium for single health coverage rose 4 percent to $6,690 this year from $6,435.
 
The groups’ published their survey results in a 222-page report released this week. The survey is widely considered the gold standard when it comes to tracking employer health benefits trends because of the prominence of its sponsors, the continuity of the survey and the number of employer respondents. The groups have conducted the annual survey since 1998. This year’s survey included 2,137 companies.
 
Average annual premiums this year varied by plan type but not as much as commonly believed:
 
  • The average annual premium for PPO coverage was $19,481 for a family and $6,965 for an individual
  • The average annual premium for HMO coverage was $19,071 for a family and $7,052 for an individual
  • The average annual premium for point-of-service coverage was $18,146 for a family and $6,716 for an individual
  • The average annual premium for a high-deductible health plan was $17,581 for a family and $6,024 for an individual
 
The percentage of covered workers in each type of plan was relatively unchanged this year, according to the survey. Some 48 percent were enrolled in PPOs in 2017 and 2016; 28 percent were in HDHPs this year compared with 29 percent last year; 14 percent were in HMOs in 2017 compared with 15 percent in 2016; and 10 percent were in POS plans this year compared with 9 percent last year.
 
Employees paid 31 percent of the average annual premium for family coverage this year, up from 30 percent last year. In dollars, that share rose 8.3 percent to $5,714 from $5,277. Employees paid 18 percent of the average annual premium for single coverage this year equal to their share last year. In dollars, the share rose 7.4 percent to $1,213 from $1,129.
 
As previously reported by Twin Cities Business, three separate surveys by different sponsors project that employer health benefits costs will increase by about 5 percent in 2018.