Premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance plans rose moderately this year, according to an annual national benefits survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

 

Premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached an average of $16,351 this year, up 4 percent from last year, according to findings of the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust 2013 Employer Health Benefits Survey released today. Click here for a summary of findings

 

American workers on average paid $4,565 toward the cost of their health coverage. During the same period, workers' wages and general inflation were up 1.8 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively. This year's rise in premiums remains moderate by historical standards, the report said. Since 2003, premiums have increased 80 percent, nearly three times as fast as wages.

 

"We are in a prolonged period of moderation in premiums, which should create some breathing room for the private sector to try to reduce costs without cutting back benefits for workers," Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman said in a release.

 

The 15th annual report's findings are based on a survey of more than 2,000 small and large employers.

 

This year, 78 percent of all covered workers face a general annual deductible, up from 72 percent in 2012. Workers typically must pay this deductible before most services are covered by their health plan. The average deductible this year for worker-only coverage is $1,135, similar to the $1,097 average deductible in 2012.

 

Other findings:

  • Fifty-seven percent of U.S.companies offered health benefits to at least some of their employees this year, a figure statistically unchanged from last year.
  • The percentage of covered workers enrolled in "grandfathered" health plans - those plans exempt from many provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  - declined to 36 percent of covered workers, from 48 percent in 2012 and 56 percent in 2011.
  • A majority of companies, 77 percent, offered at least one wellness program; 24 percent offered employees health-risk assessments; and 57 percent offered at least one disease management program.