Trends in Health Insurance at Private Employers
Employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) is the primary source of health insurance coverage for individuals under age 65.
Trends in Health Insurance at Private Employers, a statistical brief from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, describes trends and patterns in ESI for private-sector employees, overall, and by three firm size categories: fewer than 50 employees (small firms), 50 to 99 employees (medium-sized firms), and 100 or more employees (large firms).
- Employment-sponsored health insurance at private-sector employers was characterized by increases in premiums and cost sharing for covered workers in 2021.
- In 2021, average health insurance premiums were $7,380 for single coverage, $14,634 for employee-plus-one coverage, and $21,381 for family coverage, representing increases of 3.2, 3.1 and 3.0 percent, respectively, from their 2020 levels.
- In 2021, the average employee contribution was $1,643 for single coverage, a 7.2 percent increase from the 2020 level. Single premium contributions increased at small (12.3 percent), medium (14.1 percent), and large firms (5.6 percent).
- From 2020 to 2021, average deductible levels for single coverage increased by 3.0 percent to $2,004, and family coverage deductibles increased 3.9 percent to $3,868.
- From 2020 to 2021, there were no statistically significant changes in enrollment rates or offer rates for small, medium, or large firms.
- Overall enrollment and offer rates decreased from 2020 to 2021. These decreases are due to an increase in employment among small employers, and a corresponding decrease in the proportion of employees in medium and large firms, which have higher rates for both measures.
- In 2021, overall eligibility and take-up rates were not significantly different from 2020 levels.