Kaiser Survey Finds Health Insurance Premiums Continue to Increase

As has happened every year in recent memory, annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health care coverage increased according to the annual Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2011 Employer Health Benefits Survey released today. This year, annual premiums hit an average of $15,073 – an increase of 9 percent over last year.  On average, workers pay $4,129 and employers pay $10,944 toward those annual premiums.   

This represents a significantly faster increase than workers’ wages, which increased about two percent and general inflation, which increased about three percent. It is a continuation of the trend of the past ten years during which time family premiums increased 113 percent, compared with 34 percent for workers’ wages and 27 percent for inflation.

Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman had this to say about the survey results on his blog:

“Critics of the national health reform law passed in 2010 like to blame everything but the weather on “Obamacare,” but regardless of how you feel about the Affordable Care Act, its effect on premiums this year is modest.  Most of the law’s provisions don’t go into effect until 2014.  The two biggest changes this year allow young adults up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ insurance policies and require some insurance plans to cover preventive services at no cost to patients.  These are popular provisions that provide real benefits, and combined they account for about one to two percentage points of this year’s premium increase.”

And as is to be expected from Kaiser, there were some useful charts to illustrate the findings.  


The full survey results are available online at http://ehbs.kff.org.

Cathy Hope
Cathy Hope is the Communications Director at the Center for Children and Families