Employees' share of health plan premium costs up dramatically

Research Activities, August 2011, No. 372

Employees of private-sector companies contributed up to 121 percent more in 2009 for their yearly share of their employer-sponsored health insurance coverage than they did in 2001, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. By comparison, the total average annual premium for employer-sponsored health plans, which includes both the cost to the worker and to his or her employer, rose at a slower pace during the same period.

Data from the Federal agency found that the average annual premium share for workers with employee-plus-one coverage soared 121 percent—from $1,070 to $2,363, while the average annual contribution for workers with family coverage went up nearly 100 percent—from $1,741 to $3,474. Workers with single coverage experienced an increase of 92 percent in their average annual share—from $498 to $957. Specifically, the total premium increases for the different categories of coverage were:

  • For an employee-plus-one plan—$5,463 to $9,053 (66 percent).
  • For a family plan—$7,509 to $13,027 (73.5 percent).
  • For a single plan—$2,889 to $4,669 (62 percent).

The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the 2001 to 2009 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, the frequency with which they are used, the cost of those services, and how they are paid. The data in this report are not adjusted for inflation.

For more information, go to Changes in Premiums and Employee Contributions for Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance, Private Industry, 2001-2009, at http://meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/st325/stat325.shtml.

For other information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Bob Isquith at Bob.Isquith@ahrq.hhs.gov or call (301) 427-1539.

Current as of August 2011
Internet Citation: Employees' share of health plan premium costs up dramatically: Research Activities, August 2011, No. 372. August 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/aug11/0811RA24.html