The average cost of employer-sponsored health insurance increased only 3 percent this year to $16,834 for family plans, but companies are increasingly shifting the burden to employees, according to the annual survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Education Trust, a nonprofit affiliate of the American Hospital Association.
The group said employees, who currently contribute about one-fourth of that cost, are being asked to pick up more of the tab. Since 1999, employee contributions to premiums have jumped 212 percent while their earnings have increased only 54 percent during the same time period. And their average deductibles have doubled over the last five years.
“At some point, families have to weigh where dollars go from my paycheck, and rent, wages and food are more immediate and they often trump health insurance,” said Ryan Barker, vice president for health policy at the Missouri Foundation for Health.