Premiums Rise 3% for Employer-Sponsored Family Coverage

Average annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $16,834 this year, up 3% from last year. This continues a recent trend of modest increases, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET). Workers are paying an average of $4,823 annually toward family coverage this year. The increase continues a recent trend of moderate premium growth. Premiums have increased 26% over the past five years compared to 34% in the previous five years and well below the annual double-digit increases recorded in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This year’s increase also is similar to the year-to-year rise in worker’s wages (2.3%) and general inflation (2%). Annual premiums for worker-only coverage are $6,025 this year. Workers have contributed an average $1,081 toward the cost of worker-only coverage this year. The survey also reveals the following:

  • 80% of covered workers have a general annual deductible, with the average reaching $1,217. For most services, workers typically pay this deductible before their health plan provides coverage. Since 2009, the average deductible has risen 47% from $826. “The deductibles for workers have crept higher over time, topping $1,200 on average this year. Today, four in 10 covered workers have at least a $1,000 deductible, nearly double the share from just five years ago,” said study lead author Gary Claxton, director of the Health Care Marketplace Project.
  • 41% of covered workers have an annual deductible of at least $1,000, including 18% with a deductible of at least $2,000. Sixty-one percent of covered workers at small firms (three to 199 employees) have deductibles of least $1,000; and 34% have deductibles of at least $2,000.
  • There has been little change in other forms of cost sharing, including co-payments for in-network physician visits (an average of $24 for primary care and $36 for specialists) and for prescription drugs ($11 for generics, $31 for preferred brands, $53 for non-preferred brands and $83 for specialty drugs).
  • 98% of large employers that offer health benefits also a wellness program. 73% of smaller employers that offer health benefits also a wellness program. 36% of large employers that offer wellness programs provide a financial incentive participation, such as a lower premium or deductible, a larger contribution to a tax-preferred savings account, a gift card, cash, or merchandise.
  • 18% of small employers that offer wellness programs provide a financial incentive for workers to participate, such as a lower premium or deductible, a larger contribution to a tax-preferred savings account, or a gift card, cash or merchandise.
  • 51% of large firms (at least 200 workers) that offer health benefits also offer biometric screenings. Just 1% require workers to complete the screening to enroll in the company’s health benefits, and 8% reward or penalize workers financially based on biometric outcomes.
  • 94% of employers with at least 100 workers offer health benefits to at least some workers.
  • 52% of employers with fewer than 50 workers offer health benefits. Since most employers are small, this group drives the offer rate for employers, which stands at 55% this year, similar to the 57% recorded last year.
  • Firms that do not offer health benefits most often cite cost-related reasons, though one in 10 say that the coverage available to workers through the ACA insurance exchanges as a factor.
  • 26% of covered workers are in grandfathered plans, down from 36% last year and 48% two years ago. This means that more workers will benefit from reforms, such as coverage of preventive benefits without cost sharing and an external appeals process.
  • Starting in January for non-grandfathered plans, the ACA set 90 days as the new limit for the waiting period before new hires become eligible for health benefits. Twenty-three percent of large firms and 10% of small firms reduced their waiting period during the past year. The average length of waiting periods for covered workers decreased from 2.3 months in 2013 to 2.1 months in 2014.
  • 23% of large firms that offer retiree health benefits are considering changes because of the ACA’s new public health insurance marketplaces.

The Foundation also released a graphic that charts the survey’s premium trends since 1999 for different types of firms. For more information, visit

Last Updated 01/19/2022

Arch Apple Financial Services | Individual & Family Health Plans, Affordable Care California, Group Medical Insurance, California Health Insurance Exchange Marketplace, Medicare Supplements, HMO & PPO Health Care Plans, Long Term Care & Disability Insurance, Life Insurance, Dental Insurance, Vision Insurance, Employee Benefits, Affordable Care Act Assistance, Health Benefits Exchange, Buy Health Insurance, Health Care Reform Plans, Insurance Agency, Westminster, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Irvine, Santa Ana, Tustin, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Long Beach, Orange, Tustin Foothills, Seal Beach, Anaheim, Newport Beach, Yorba Linda, Placentia, Brea, La Habra, Orange County CA

12312 Pentagon Street - Garden Grove, CA 92841-3327 - Tel: 714.638.0853 - 800.731.2590
Copyright @ 2015 - Website Design and Search Engine Optimization by Blitz Mogul