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Family Insurance Premiums Topped $12,000 a Year in 2008

AHRQ News and Numbers, July 22, 2009

AHRQ News and Numbers provides statistical highlights on the use and cost of health services and health insurance in the United States.

The cost of insuring a family of four with an employer-sponsored health plan in the United States averaged $12,298 in 2008, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

The Federal agency's new data for private industry further showed that the annual premium for covering an employee and one family member, known as an "employee-plus-one" plan, averaged $8,535, while the annual premium for a plan that only covered the employee averaged $4,386.

Almost 20 million of the 62.5 million workers enrolled in employer-based insurance in 2008 had family plans, while about 11 million had employee-plus-one plans. The 31.5 million remaining workers had single-coverage plans.

AHRQ's 2008 private-industry data also showed that:

  • Nationally, workers enrolled in family plans last year contributed an average of $3,394 toward the cost of their premiums, compared with $2,303 for an employee-plus-one policy and $882 for a single-coverage plan.
  • Across all States, workers in Florida contributed the most for a family plan ($4,412) while Indiana workers contributed the least ($2,472); for employee-plus one plans New Hampshire workers contributed the most and Idaho workers the least ($3,005 and $1,736 respectively); and for single coverage, New Hampshire workers again contributed the most ($1,264), and workers in Hawaii contributed the least ($451).
  • For about 22 percent of workers with single-coverage plans, their employers paid the entire premium amount. In contrast, employers paid the entire premiums for just 11 percent of workers with family plans and 9 percent of those with employee-plus-one plans.

AHRQ, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, works to enhance the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care in the United States. The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the Insurance Component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a source of detailed information on employer-sponsored health insurance coverage and costs at the national, State, and metropolitan area levels. For more information, go to MEPS Statistical Brief 251: Employer-Sponsored Single, Employee-Plus-One, and Family Health Insurance: Selection and Cost, 2008.

For MEPS summary data on employer-based health insurance, go to (PDF File, 530 KB; Plugin Software Help).

For further information, contact Bob Isquith at or call 301-427-1539.

Current as of July 2009
Internet Citation: Family Insurance Premiums Topped $12,000 a Year in 2008: AHRQ News and Numbers, July 22, 2009. July 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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