Health insurance premiums climb faster in 2011
September 27, 2011
By Alina Selyukh
Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:20pm EDT
The cost of health insurance continues to climb for companies and workers, with annual family premiums this year growing at a pace triple that of 2010 and outpacing wage increases, according to a survey.
As the United States continues to grapple with a stubbornly weak economy, family premiums in employer-sponsored health plans jumped 9 percent this year and single premiums rose 8 percent, compared with 2010′s 3 percent and 5 percent, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s annual study, published Tuesday, found.
“We’re probably on a more modest side … but even with a 5 percent increase in a premium (that our workers saw) this year, they didn’t get a 5 percent raise,” said Jeff Franck, a compensation and benefits manager at Altru Health System, which employs about 3,700 people in North Dakota and Minnesota and participated in the survey.
Health insurance, unlike other industrialized countries, is largely provided by employers. Although the latest Census found more Americans losing company-sponsored insurance, almost 170 million Americans were on employer-based plans in 2010.
Kaiser and the Health Research Educational Trust surveyed 2,088 randomly selected public and private employers large and small earlier this year.
The survey found that, on average, employees are contributing 28 percent, or about $4,129, a year toward employer-sponsored family plans. That is 131 percent more than a decade ago.