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Employer-sponsored family health insurance premiums rise 9 percent
By Insure.com staff

Annual premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance increased 9 percent for families and 8 percent for individuals this year over 2010, according to a survey released Sept. 27 by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research & Educational Trust.

The average premium for employer-sponsored family coverage this year is $15,073. On average workers pay $4,129 for family coverage, and employers pay $10,944 toward the annual premiums.

The average premium for single coverage is $5,429, of which employers pay an average $4,508 and workers pay $921.

Premiums increased faster than workers' wages, which grew by just 2.1 percent, and general inflation, which was 3.2 percent. Since 2001, employer-sponsored health insurance premiums for families have increased 113 percent, compared to 34 percent for workers' wages and 27 percent for inflation, according to the report.

"This year's 9 percent increase in premiums is especially painful for workers and employers struggling through a weak recovery," Drew Altman, Kaiser president and CEO, said in a statement.

This year's survey also looked at the impact on employers of several provisions of the 2010 federal health reform law. Employers added about 2.3 million young adults to their parents' family health plans as a result of the provision allowing young adults up to age 26 to be covered as dependents on their parents' plans.

"The law is helping millions of young adults to obtain health coverage. In the past, many of these young adults would have lost coverage when they left home or graduated college," study author Gary Claxton, a Kaiser vice president and co-executive director of the Kaiser Initiative on Health Reform and Private Insurance, said in a statement.

The study also shows 31 percent of covered workers are in high-deductible health insurance plans, facing deductibles for single coverage of at least $1,000, including 12 percent with deductibles of at least $2,000. Covered workers in firms with fewer than 200 employees are more likely to face such high deductibles.

The share of firms offering health insurance remains at about 60 percent this year, which is comparable to previous years, according to the survey.


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