Health Insurance: Premiums and Increases

The increased cost of health insurance is a central fact in any discussion of health policy and health delivery.

In 2018 the average annual premium for employer-based family coverage rose 5 percent to $19,616; for single coverage, premiums rose 3 percent to $6,896. Covered workers contributed 18 percent of the cost for single coverage and 29 percent of the cost for family coverage, on average, with considerable variation across firms.

By comparison, annual premiums for 2017 reached $18,764, up 3 percent from 2015 for an average family coverage with workers on average paying $5,714 towards the cost of their coverage, according to the Kaiser Employer Survey, October 2018 and 2017, applying to employer-based insurance.

For those Americans who are fully covered, these cost realities affect employers, both large and small, plus the “pocket-book impact” on ordinary families. For those buying insurance on an exchange or private market plan for 2018, the average increase with subsidies was $201. The 2019 policy premiums are now final and have more moderate averages increases, with some rate decreases. View 2019 rate filings below.

2019 Heath Insurance Premiums – Reports and resources

  • How ACA Marketplace Premiums Are Changing by County in 2019 
    Many low-income consumers who are eligible for federal financial help under the ACA can get a bronze-level plan and pay nothing out-of-pocket in premiums in more than 2,000 counties next year, depending on their annual income, according to a new analysis. But such plans can come with higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. (View Issue Brief with interactive state maps) Kaiser Family Foundation, 11/20/2018.
  • Health Exchanges: 2019 Average Monthly Premiums for Second-Lowest Cost Silver Plan and Lowest Cost Plan for States Using the Platform, 2016-2019.  The tables linked below indicate the average monthly premiums for the second-lowest cost silver plan (SLCSP) and lowest cost plan (LCP) across all 39 states using the using the platform, as well as state-level average SLCSP and LCP premiums. The premiums displayed are for a 27-year old single nonsmoker.
    State by state premiums- updated Oct 11, 2018 – posted by CMS. 
  • Updated Navigator Resource Guide  (Updated: November 2018) The Navigator Guide provides information on recent policy changes, a list of enrollment tools for consumers and assisters, and answers to hundreds of FAQs, ranging from questions about eligibility for marketplace subsidies to post-enrollment issues and small employer coverage. The Guide is a useful resource throughout the open enrollment season. You can access it online via the Georgetown Univ. site.
  • Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator Updated for 2019 (Updated 11/2/2018)
    Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator, posted by Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), now includes local data on the 2019 health plans being sold through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces during the 2019 open enrollment period. With the tool, consumers around the nation can generate estimates of their health insurance premiums and what financial help may be available — based on household income, family size, ages of family members, and zip code — for ACA marketplace plans sold in their local area. The calculator also helps consumers determine whether they could be eligible for Medicaid.
         • A Spanish-language version of the calculator is also available. 
         • KFF also offers a searchable collection of more than 300 Frequently Asked Questions about open enrollment, the marketplaces and the ACA. 
  • Experiences Under the ACA Suggest Association Health Plans Could Harm the Small-Group Insurance Market.   **NEW**
    The federal rule making it easier for groups to form association health plans may result in higher costs for those who need the ACA’s more comprehensive coverage or don’t qualify for less-regulated plans. Full report by The Commonwealth Fund, 12/4/2018

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