: ‘The calm before the storm’: Employer healthcare premiums hold steady despite inflation, but experts warn that may not last

by | Oct 30, 2022 | Stock Market

Employers are paying roughly the same amount for health insurance this year compared to the year before. But that could change.  Annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance are averaging $22,463 in 2022, largely unchanged from the $22,221 last year. That’s according to the Employer Health Benefits survey released Thursday by KFF, a San Francisco-based healthcare think tank.

Workers are contributing $6,106 on average this year toward the cost of the family premium, while employers pay the rest, the survey of more than 2,100 small and large employers by KFF found.

“Healthcare costs are a top priority for voters in the run up to the midterm elections on Nov. 8. Approximately 159 million Americans rely on employer-sponsored health-insurance coverage.”

“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,” KFF president and chief executive officer Drew Altman 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,” he said. Workers at small firms with less than 200 workers on average paid $7,556 out of their paychecks annually for family coverage in 2022 — nearly $2,000 more than workers at larger firms ($5,580). Annual inflation stood at 8.2% in September, according to government data. The increase in healthcare service costs over the past year (6.5%) lagged overall inflation. Since 2012, average premiums for family coverage rose 43%, compared to a 25% rise in inflation and 38% rise in workers’ wages over the same period. Midterm elections Healthcare costs are a top priority for voters in the run up to the midterm elections on Nov. 8. About 159 million Americans rely on employer-sponsored coverage, according to KFF.   Across party lines, nearly nine in 10 Americans said a candidate’s plan for reducing healthcare costs is “very important” or “somewhat important” when …

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