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Record-breaking healthcare premiums ‘not a great’ milestone

Family premiums keep increasing. So how are employers holding down costs? (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) Annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance grew 5% to average $20,576 last year, according to new research from the Kaiser Family Foundation—the first time costs topped $20,000.

“It’s a real milestone to have passed $20,000 for a family’s premium for the year—and not a really great one,” Rabah Kamal, policy analyst at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said recently during an HRE webinar . “That’s like paying for a new car. And it’s not like buying it once; it’s like buying one every year.” Rabah Kamal Employers and employees are sharing the cost. On average, workers contribute $6,015 toward the cost of family coverage, with employers paying the rest.

While average annual increases in premiums have been “relatively stable,” she says, rising inflation and stagnant salaries are making the healthcare increases even worse. These numbers were collected last fall before the coronavirus pandemic began, and some experts predict premiums will rise again this year.

“Family premiums for employer coverage have grown faster than workers’ wages, which clearly presents an affordability issue,” she said.

So how can employers improve the value of their health spending if they don’t […]

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