Survey Finds 'Huge' Spike in Employee Health Insurance Costs

Job-related health insurance premiums now reflecting inflation pressures
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2023 2:21 PM CDT
Survey Finds 'Huge' Spike in Employee Health Insurance Costs
A doctor converses with a patient.   (Getty Images/demaerre)

Bad news on the inflation front: The cost of employee health insurance saw its biggest annual increase in more than a decade this year. The average annual premium for family health insurance climbed 7% from 2022 for the biggest annual increase since 2011, per the Wall Street Journal. The cost of family coverage rose to nearly $24,000, "a price equivalent to a small car, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which released the results of its employer health benefits survey Wednesday. Bloomberg reports family premiums increased just 1% year-over-year in 2022.

For family coverage, employees paid an average of $6,575, or nearly $500 more than in 2022, with employers covering the rest. Single coverage also saw a 7% jump; the average annual premium was $8,435, with workers paying just over $1,400 of that, or roughly $75 more than last year, per CNN. "We have a huge premium increase this year. There's just no other way to cut it," Matthew Rae, co-author of the survey of 2,133 employers, tells CNN, which reports the increase is "roughly in line with the rise in wages and inflation since 2022."

The Journal explains inflation hit health insurance this year "because hospitals tend to renegotiate fees with insurers only every few years, so the increases they sought to cover their own costs are now in turn affecting premiums." Consultants expect similar cost increases next year, the outlet notes. Almost 25% of companies said they would increase employees' premium contributions in the next two years, CNN reports, though the outlet notes employers keen to keep employees and recruit new ones don't appear to be raising deductibles or restricting coverage. (More health insurance stories.)

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