Employers’ spending on health coverage for workers spiked abruptly this year, with the average cost of a family plan rising by 9 percent, triple the growth seen in 2010. This according to a survey just released by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust.
One factor in this year’s increases was that “employers and insurers expected a faster economic recovery and geared premiums to higher levels of utilization,” said Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Foundation. The growth of premiums far outpaced the growth in workers’ wages – as it has for the past decade. Wages grew by 2 percent this year.
Although premiums rose, employers kept the percentage of the premium workers’ pay about the same: An average of 18 percent for single coverage and 28 percent for family plans. Still, with rising costs, workers paid more, up an average of $132 a year for family coverage. Since 1999, the dollar amount workers contribute toward premiums nationally has grown 168 percent, while their wages have grown by 50 percent, according to the survey.
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