Average family premiums for employer-based health insurance have jumped 47% in the last decade, outpacing wage growth and inflation

Personal Finance

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You’re not imagining the growing pinch to your budget from the cost of your workplace health insurance.

Over the last decade, family premiums for employer-sponsored coverage have jumped 47%, according to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. That rate outpaces both wage growth (31%) and inflation (23%) over the same time period.

Annual premiums for family coverage this year reached an average $22,221, with workers contributing an average $5,969 toward the cost and employers paying the rest, the report says. The amount is 4% more than 2020.

Deductibles — amounts that you pay out of pocket for services before your insurance starts paying — also have jumped 68.4% since 2011, to an average $1,669 from $991.

This year, 85% of covered workers have a deductible in their plan, up from 74% a decade ago. At companies with under 200 employees, average deductibles are 70% higher than those at larger firms ($2,379 vs. $1,397).

Roughly 155 million people rely on employer-sponsored coverage, according to Kaiser’s research. The share of employers offering health benefits — 59% — has remained largely unchanged since 2011. However, the larger the company, the more likely it is to offer a health plan.

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If you lack coverage through your job, be aware that you may qualify for affordable private insurance through the federal health exchange (healthcare.gov) or your state’s marketplace. Open enrollment is currently underway for these health plans through Jan. 15.

Most enrollees qualify for subsidies to help cover the cost of premiums or, depending on your income, help with other cost-sharing like copays.

Additionally, the subsidies have been expanded for 2021 and 2022 so that more families can qualify.

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