Cathy Schoen, Ashley-Kay Fryer, Sara R. Collins, David Radley
Rapidly rising health insurance costs continue to strain the budgets of U.S. families and employers. This issue brief analyzes changes in private employer-based health premiums and deductibles for all states from 2003 to 2010, and finds total premiums for family coverage increased 50 percent across states and employee annual share of premiums increased by 63 percent over these seven years. At the same time, per-person deductibles doubled in large, as well as small, firms. If premium trends continue at the rate prior to enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the average premium for family coverage will rise 72 percent by 2020, to nearly $24,000. Health reform offers the potential to reduce insurance cost growth while improving financial protections. If efforts succeed in slowing annual premium growth by 1 percentage point, by 2020 employers and families together would save $2,161 annually for family coverage, compared with projected premiums at historical rates of increase.