Every year the Kaiser Family Foundation puts out a wonderfully detailed report on employee health benefit plans, based on a large survey it conducts. The data over multiple years allows an exploration of trends. If you aren’t familiar with the details of employee health benefits, it also gives you a sobering and frightening look at how much it costs employers and employees to provide and receive health benefits. This is an enormous cost challenge for businesses and consumers, 155 million of whom get their health care coverage through an employer. One trend for the last two decades has been to push more and more of the cost onto the consumer. Obamacare, the only major legislation passed by our genius president, at least he thinks he was, was an unmitigated failure in cost control and continues to actually play a role in increasing costs.
For 2021, KFF estimates that the average family premium rose 4% to $22,221 and on average employees paid $5969 of that, or over 25%. Single coverage averaged about $7700, and the employee pays about 18% of that. In addition, the typical worker has a significant deductible before getting coverage, with the average being almost $1700 for single coverage. Workers in small companies tend to bear more of the premium costs. As you would expect in this era, government workers get much better benefits and pay much less of the cost than do private sector ones. They are truly the new elite.
The report is worth a thorough reading if you want a good picture of the state of employer health benefit plans. (KFF Report)