Annual family premiums for employer-sponsored coverage rose 7% on average to $23,968 in 2023, a new KFF survey shows. This comes after nearly no premium increase last year.
Of that family premium total, workers are contributing $6,575 annually (a $500 increase from last year), while employers are covering the rest. And further increases are expected to come, with 23% of employers saying they will increase employees’ contributions in the next couple of years.
The KFF Employer Health Benefits Survey included responses from more than 2,100 small and large employers. It was fielded between January and July of 2023. The report comes at a time when about 153 million Americans rely on employer-sponsored insurance.
Employees of firms with fewer than 200 workers contribute significantly more toward family premiums than those at larger firms: $8,334 versus $5,889 on average, according to KFF. About a quarter of employees at small firms pay at least $12,000 in annual premiums for family coverage.
“Rising employer health care premiums have resumed their nasty ways, a reminder that while the nation has made great progress expanding coverage, people continue to struggle with medical bills, and overall the nation has no strategy on health costs,” said Drew Altman, KFF president and CEO, in a news release.
Additional findings from the report include:
- Following the reversal of Roe v. Wade, several states are prohibiting and restricting access to abortion. About 10% of large employers are not covering legal abortions “under any circumstances,” according to KFF. Another 18% are covering legal abortions under limited circumstances, such as cases of rape, incest or life endangerment.
- About 32% of large employers said they are covering abortions in most or all circumstances, while 40% are unsure of the health plan’s coverage of abortion.
- While some states are restricting access to abortion, 7% of large employers are providing or plan to provide financial assistance to travel for a legal abortion. Employers with at least 5,000 workers are most likely to do this.
- While 88% of large employers providing health benefits to at least some workers said they have enough primary care doctors in their network, only 59% said this about mental health networks and 58% said this about substance use disorder networks.
- About 18% of large employers said they took action in the last year to improve their mental health network. However, another 21% said their health plan has limits on the number of covered mental health services.
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