A Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) survey finds that the average annual cost of employer-provided health insurance for a family has exceeded $22,000 this year, part of a steady increase that appears largely unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The research published on Wednesday documented a 4% increase in the average cost of a family plan, reaching $22,221. On average, employees spend nearly $6,000 on this cost, with employers covering the rest.
The average annual plan cost for a single employee also increased by 4% to $7,739 in 2021.
The annual change aligns with the annual salary increase of 5% and the annual inflation rate of 1.9%, KFF noted in its report.
But over the past decade, the average cost of family health insurance has jumped 47%, outpacing the 31% rise in wages and the 19% rise in inflation over that decade. period.
The average deductible for all insurance plans that employees must pay before coverage has also increased over the past decade, from $991 to nearly $1,700 this year, though it’s virtually unchanged from to 2020.
Although the pandemic appeared to have a limited effect on annual bonuses, companies reported that more workers were seeking treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues.
Nearly 40% of companies with at least 50 workers said they had updated their mental health and addiction benefits since the start of the pandemic, and 12% said they had seen an increase in the use of these services.
Additionally, 95% of companies with at least 50 employees provided health benefits for some telemedicine services, an increase of 10% from 2020.
“The expansion of telemedicine and mental health benefits has been important in meeting the needs of employees and their families in difficult times,” said Gary Claxton and Matthew Rae, Director and Associate Director of the KFF Marketplace Program. Health care.
“These kinds of changes make sense not because employers want to spend more, but because they want their employees to see their health benefit programs as ‘benefits’ and value them as such.”
KFF’s global survey involved 1,686 employers between January and July this year, with a further 2,413 companies responding to a question about the provision of cover.