Cost of Family Health Benefits Rising, Survey Finds

After several years of relatively modest premium increases, annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage increased to $15,073 this year, up 9 percent from last year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust 2011 Employer Health Benefits Survey released recently. On average, workers pay $4,129 and employers pay $10,944 toward those annual premiums.

Premiums increased significantly faster than workers’ wages (2.1 percent) and general inflation (3.2 percent). Since 2001, family premiums have increased 113 percent, compared with 34 percent for workers’ wages and 27 percent for inflation.

“This year’s nine-percent increase in premiums is especially painful for workers and employers struggling through a weak recovery,” Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman said.

Now in its 13th year, the survey is a joint project of the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust. It was conducted between January and May of 2011 and included 3,184 randomly selected, non-federal public and private firms with three or more employees.

To view more survey results and learn how this rising cost may affect your staffing firm, click here.

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