Annual premiums for employer-provided family health insurance coverage were relatively flat compared to 2021, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, but premiums may rise at a faster rate next year.
The average family premium reached $22,463 this year, just 1% higher than reported last year. Workers are contributing an average of $6,106 toward that cost, according to the report. The premium for individual coverage averaged $7,911, about 2% higher than last year. Workers at firms with less than 200 workers pay and average of $7,556 for family coverage, nearly $2,000 more than workers at larger firms, who pay an average of $5,580.
Among workers whose coverage includes an annual deductible, the average threshold for single coverage this year was $1,763, similar to last year’s $1,669 but up 61% since 2012.
“The modest change in premiums this year is unusual in that it is less than the increase in inflation (8%) or workers’ wages (6.7%) during the same period,” the Kaiser foundation said in a press release. “Even with this year’s minimal change, average premiums for family coverage have risen 43% since 2012, more than the shift in inflation (25%) and a little more than wages (38%) over the same period.”
‘Calm before the storm’: The report’s authors speculate that premiums stayed fairly flat because they were set in 2021, before inflation soared to levels not seen in decades. Kaiser CEO Drew Altman said that premiums are now likely to jump more significantly in the coming year. "Employers are already concerned about what they pay for health premiums, but this could be the calm before the storm, as recent inflation suggests that larger increases are imminent," he said in a statement. "Given the tight labor market and rising wages, it will be tough for employers to shift costs onto workers when costs spike."