U.S. companies and their employees saw the lowest health plan premium increases in more than a decade in 2013, according to an analysis by Aon Hewitt, a global human resources firm.
Despite the modest increases, though, employees' annual share of health insurance costs hit almost $5,000 this year.
The average health premium increase for large employers in 2013 was 3.3 percent, down from 4.9 percent in 2012 and 8.5 percent in 2011. But the slowdown in rate hikes may not last. Aon Hewitt projects premium increases in 2014 will move back to the 6 to 7 percent range.
The analysis showed the average health-care cost per employee was $10,471 in 2013, up from $10,131 in 2012. Employees were asked to contribute an average of $2,303 toward the premium this year, compared to $2,200 in 2012. Meanwhile, average employee out-of-pocket costs, such as copayments, co-insurance and deductibles, increased 12.8 percent to $2,239 in 2013 from $1,984 in 2012.
Next year average health care costs are projected to increase to $11,176 per employee. Employers will ask workers to contribute an average of 22.4 percent of the total premium -- $2,499 per employee. Average out-of-pocket costs are expected to increase to $2,470. Given the projections, employees' share of health care costs will have increased almost 150 percent to $4,969 in 2014 from $2,011 in 2004.