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Survey: Health premiums in Iowa increased 11.1 percent


Year-over-year increases in health insurance premiums have again entered double-digit territory, according to the latest annual survey by David P. Lind & Associates (DPLA) of Clive. Health insurance premiums increased an average of 11.1 percent from 2008 to 2009, according to the 2009 Iowa Employer Benefits Study, the 11th annual survey by the employee benefits consulting and research firm. The rate of increase in the previous year’s survey was 8.8 percent.

The 2009 survey found that the average monthly premium for all medical plans offered by Iowa employers was $370 for single coverage and $963 for family. The averages represent the increase in premiums employers received prior to making design changes in their medical plans.

Employees with single coverage were asked to pay $65 per month on average, and employees with family coverage are contributing an average of $319 per month, according to the survey. Over the course of 11 years, employee contributions have increased 76 percent for single coverage and 80 percent for family coverage.

The 2009 study was expanded to include a representative sample of employers with two to nine employees, providing additional insight regarding health insurance coverage. Approximately 54 percent of these small companies reported offering health insurance coverage to their employees. By comparison, 82 percent companies with between 10 and 19 employees said they offered health insurance. Overall, the survey estimates that 84 percent of Iowa employers, regardless of size, reported offering health insurance in 2009.

“As evidenced in prior studies, the smaller the employer, the less likely they are to offer health insurance,” DPLA President David Lind said in a press release. “Small employers that do offer coverage are more likely to engage in cost-sharing arrangements with their employees to afford the coverage.”

The survey results are based on 892 responses from 2,660 randomly selected employers with two or more employees. Data Point Research Inc. of Ames provided the statistical analysis and mathematical basis for the study.

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