Cost of family coverage provided by employers 1.5 times more in 2009 than in 2000

Research Activities, September 2010, No. 361

The annual premium for a family health plan sponsored by an employer cost about 54 percent more in 2009 than it did in 2000—$13,027 and $8,437 (adjusted for inflation), respectively—according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). During the same period, the average cost of an annual premium for a single coverage plan rose by 41 percent, from $3,308 (adjusted for inflation) to $4,669.

According to AHRQ's analysis for the period:

  • Just under a third (30.5 percent) of the 59 million U.S. workers who were enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans had family coverage, while about half were enrolled in single-coverage plans, and nearly one-fifth had employee-plus-one coverage, which is health insurance that covers the employee plus one family member at a lower premium rate than full family coverage.
  • Among the 10 largest States, New York had the highest average premiums, ranging from $13,757 for family plans to $5,121 for single coverage, and Ohio had the lowest, ranging from $11,870 for family coverage to $4,261 for single coverage.
  • The average annual employee contributions to health insurance premiums were $3,474 for family coverage (26.7 percent of the average family premium), $2,363 for employee-plus-one coverage (26.1 percent of the average premium), and $957 for single coverage (20.5 percent of the average single premium).
  • About 21 percent of workers with single coverage, 10 percent with employee-plus-one coverage, and 11 percent with family coverage made no contribution toward their health insurance premium. However, these proportions varied among the 10 largest States.

The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, the frequency with which they are used, the cost of those services, and how they are paid for. For more information, go to State Differences in the Cost of Job-Related Health Insurance, 2009 at http://meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/st286/stat286.shtml.

Current as of September 2010
Internet Citation: Cost of family coverage provided by employers 1.5 times more in 2009 than in 2000: Research Activities, September 2010, No. 361. September 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://archive.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/sep10/0910RA34.html