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News : US Economy Last Updated: Sep 28, 2011 - 5:56 AM

US employer-sponsored family health insurance premiums in 2011 up 9% to $15,073 - - 30% of median household income
By Finfacts Team
Sep 28, 2011 - 4:21 AM

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US employer-sponsored family health insurance premiums in 2011 rose 9% to $15,073, which is equivalent to 30% of median household income in 2010.

The Kaiser Family Foundation reported that the average annual premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance in 2011 are $5,429 for single coverage and $15,073 for family coverage.

Compared to 2010, premiums for single coverage are 8% higher and premiums for family coverage are 9% higher. The 9% growth rate in family premiums for 2011 is significantly higher than the 3% growth rate in 2010.

Since 2001, average premiums for family coverage have increased 113%. Average premiums for family coverage are lower for workers in small firms (3–199 workers) than for workers in large firms (200 or more workers) ($14,098 vs. $15,520).

Wages have increased 34% since 2001.

The Census Bureau recently reported that real median household income in the United States in 2010 was $49,445, a 2.3% decline from the 2009 median.

Tuesday's report says there is significant variation around the average annual premiums as a result of factors such as benefits, cost sharing, and geographic cost differences.

Nineteen percent of covered workers are in plans with an annual total premium for family coverage of at least $18,087 (120% of the average family premium), while 21% of covered workers are in plans where the family premium is less than $12,058 (80% of the average premium).

Covered workers contribute on average 18% of the premium for single coverage and 28% of the premium for family coverage, similar to the percentages they contributed in 2010. Workers in small firms (3–199 workers) contribute a significantly lower average percentage for single coverage compared to workers in larger firms (15% vs. 19%), but a higher average percentage for family coverage (36% vs. 25%).

As with total premiums, the share of the premium contributed by workers varies considerably around these averages. For single coverage, 59% of covered workers are in plans that require them to pay more than 0% but less than or equal to 25% of the total premium, and 3% are in plans that require more than 50% of the premium; 16% are in plans that require them to make no contribution.

For family coverage, 47% of covered workers are in plans that require them to pay more than 0% but less than or equal to 25% of the total premium, and 15% are in plans that require more than 50% of the premium; only 6% are in plans that require no contribution.

Full Report (pdf)

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