Health Insurance Premiums Continue To Rise, But Are Moderating

The average monthly health plan premium rose 13.9 percent between 2010 and 2013, according to recent research from solutions provider ADP. The study, 2013 ADP Annual Health Benefits Report, noted that since a spike of 7.6 percent between 2010 and 2011, the rate of increase has moderated, and premiums rose just 3.1 percent in the last year.

The study also found the following:

Eligibility and participation remain relatively steady. Between 2010 and 2013, the percentage of full-time employees who were eligible for employer-provided health benefits remained relatively steady. The overall percentage of those participating in health benefits also remained relatively constant. However, there were marked variances among specific age groups, ADP noted.

Employees with higher incomes covered more dependents. Employees with higher incomes tended to incur higher premiums but also covered more dependents. When premiums were adjusted for total covered lives—employees plus dependents—the premium costs were constant among income levels, averaging $388 per month in 2013.

Lower wage employees pay larger percentage of income. ADP found that employees with higher incomes generally saw smaller percent changes in health plan premiums. Premium contributions as a percent of income increased at a higher rate for lower-wage employees.

Fewer young employees opt to purchase coverage. Among employees under age 30, only slightly more than half participated in their employer’s health benefits program. Although eligibility declined in every age group since 2010, the largest decrease (4.6 percent) was among this group.

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