HealthDay News — In 2019, the average annual health insurance premium for workers increased slightly for single coverage and family coverage, according to a report published online Sept. 25 in Health Affairs.
Gary Claxton, from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, D.C., and colleagues presented findings from the annual Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Employer Health Benefits Survey. Firms were surveyed about eligibility for and enrollment in their health benefits program.
The researchers found that in 2019, the average annual premium for workers covered by their own firms increased 4 percent to $7,188 for single coverage and increased 5 percent to $20,576 for family coverage compared with 2018. On average, covered workers contributed 18 and 30 percent of the cost of single and family coverage, respectively, with considerable variation across firms. Fifty-seven percent of firms offered health benefits to at least some workers. The overall share of workers covered at their own firm (61 percent) was similar to that seen in recent years, although some larger firms reported that take-up dropped because of the elimination of the individual mandate penalty. During the past few years, large employers reported taking a variety of steps to address the opioid epidemic.
“Employer-sponsored coverage doesn’t come cheap for employers or workers, and many who work at low-wage firms or small [businesses] likely find it too costly to cover their families,” Claxton said in a statement.