The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) is starting to have noticeable effects on group health coverage, researchers say.
The researchers, at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, Calif., and the Health Research & Educational Trust, Washington, have reported that finding in a report based on a survey of 2,088 U.S. employers.
The researchers found that the overall percentage of participating employers offering health benefits fell to 60% this year, from 69% in 2010, with the offered rate holding steady at about 99% for firms with 200 or more workers, dropping to 59%, from 69%, for firms with 3 to 199 workers, and sinking to 48%, from 59%, for firms with 3 to 9 workers.
The average annual single premium increased 8%, to $5,429, and the average annual family premium increased 9%, to $15,073.
The researchers also found that the shift to high-deductible plans is continuing, with 17% of covered workers now in high-deductible plans, with or without access to special savings accounts, up from 13% in 2010.
About 55% of covered workers are in preferred provider organization plans (PPO) not officially classified as high-deductible plans, 17% are in health maintenance organization plans, 10% are in point-of-service plans, and just 1% are in traditional indemnity plans,