Employee Health Insurance Premiums Jumped 63 Percent in 7 Years

A new study has found that U.S. workers’ health insurance premiums rose 63 percent from 2003 to 2010 as an increasing number of employers shifted the burden of rising medical costs to their employees. The study was conducted by Commonwealth Fund, which analyzed annual government surveys of companies.

Health Insurance a Growing Burden for Employers and Workers

The Commonwealth Fund study has revealed that health insurance  is increasingly becoming a burden for both employers and their workers. The total cost of insuring a family through employer-sponsored health plans jumped by 50 percent over the seven-year period.

In 2010, the average cost to insure was $13,871 annually, largely due to the rapid increase in the cost of medical services and a jump in health care spending. In order for many companies to hold on to their coverage options, they have shifted much of the burden to their workers, increasing their insurance premiums  significantly.

Lowering Insurance Premiums for Health Care

With health insurance premiums increasing across the nation, it’s not always easy to find ways to lower the cost of care for employees and their families. However, should the burden become too much to bear, there are a few points to consider:

  • Shop around for new health insurance coverage: Many companies are in the midst of open enrollment, meaning employees can now look for new insurance plans to purchase. To ensure the most affordable coverage, it’s important to shop around. 
  • Purchase high-deductible policies: Employees with a history of good health, and only visit the doctor once or twice a year on average,  might consider a high-deductible policy that comes with lower premiums. However, employees who opt for this policy, must be prepared to pay the deductible before receiving treatment, so it’s a good idea to keep set aside funds just in case health concerns arise.
  • Participate in incentives: Many employers offer ways for workers to lower their premiums by participating in health insurance incentives that ask employees to stop unhealthy habits, like smoking or request employees to lose weight. The company’s human resources office can provide employees with more information, if this option is available.

If there are no incentives available, it’s important for employees to improve health to reduce the amount of health care needed. By exercising, maintaining a healthy diet and eliminating harmful habits, employees could lower health insurance costs considerably.