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Family premiums for employer plans top nearly $20,000

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Costs outpace wages, inflation

Annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose five percent to $19,616 in 2018, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation Employer Health Benefits Survey.

On average, workers are paying $5,547 toward the cost of family coverage, with employers picking up the rest of the tab. Annual premiums for single coverage increased 3 percent this year, to $6,896, with workers paying an average of $1,186.

The data confirms what most employers already know — that group health plan costs are increasingly taking up bigger and bigger portions of company budgets.

Over time, price increases for health insurance have outpaced both inflation and workers’ wages.

Despite continuous price increases, the number of employers offering health insurance coverage has remained relatively steady at 57 percent in 2018, up from 53 percent in 2017 and at the same level as five years ago.

However, nearly half of employers not offering coverage cite cost as the main reason they don’t offer benefits.

As premium rates for fully-insured plans become prohibitively expensive, self-insuring is becoming a more attractive option.More: Group premiums going up? Consider self-funding.

While self-insuring the benefits plan wasn’t always an option for smaller employers, there are more options than ever before for groups of all sizes.

Many in the industry see this trend continuing as more employers reach a breaking point on premium rate increases.

Want to learn more about self-insuring your group plan? Click here to download the Employer's Guide to Self-Insuring, or click below to speak with a Bernard Health advisor.

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