NU Online News Service, Sept. 5, 10:00 a.m. – Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research and Educational Trust, Washington, today released the results of a survey that indicate that sharply rising health care costs and the downturn in the economy have resulted in higher premium contributions and cost-sharing requirements for workers, and cutbacks in the scope of health benefits offered by firms.
The annual survey of employer health benefit plans finds that premiums have increased 12.7%, the highest increase since 1990. Single premiums are now, on average, $3,060 for single coverage, and $7,954 for family coverage.
The survey also finds that the amount employees pay for coverage has risen substantially. For single coverage, employees now pay an average of $454 per year ? a 27%, or $95 increase from last year. The employee share of premiums for family coverage averaged $2,084 per year — a 16%, or $283 increase from last year.
Also among the survey findings is that deductibles for preferred provider organization in-network providers rose 37% to $276 in 2002, up from $201 last year.