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Private-Sector Workers and Employers Share the Burden of Health Insurance Costs

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AHRQ News and Numbers

Release date: August 16, 2007

The average yearly premium for employer-sponsored family health insurance coverage climbed from $6,772 to $10,728 between 2000 and 2005, according to the latest News and Numbers summary from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). During the same period, the average annual premium cost for single-person coverage increased from $2,655 to $3,991.

  • For family coverage, workers contributed $971 more in 2005 than they did in 2000. Their premiums rose 60 percent, from $1,614 to $2,585 per year.
  • Workers with single-person coverage paid an average of $273 more per year for their premium in 2005, compared with 2000—a 61-percent increase.
  • The burden was shared by employers as well. They paid an average $2,985 more in 2005 than in 2000 for each family plan registered to employees. The employer contribution also rose nearly 58 percent—from $5,158 to $8,143 per year. Employers also paid $1,063 more for each single plan in 2005 compared with 2000—a 48-percent increase.

There were geographic differences in premium costs across the Nation's 10 largest cities:

  • For example, New York City had the highest average-overall cost for a family plan premium, at $11,819. Of that, the worker paid $2,564. By contrast, Los Angeles had the lowest average-overall cost for a family plan, at $10,122. For their share, workers paid $2,386.
  • The Miami-Fort Lauderdale area ranked only eighth in the average overall cost of a family plan premium ($10,535), but ranked first in the share that workers were asked to pay ($3,559).

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 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a highly detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, the frequency with which they use them, the cost of those services, and how they are paid.

For more information, access State Differences in the Cost of Job-Related Health Insurance, 2005, and Take-Up Rates, Premiums, and Employee Contributions for Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance in the Private Sector for the 10 Largest Metropolitan Areas, 2005 (PDF Help).

For other information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Bob Isquith at or call (301) 427-1539.

Current as of August 2007.


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


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