Health insurance provided by employers this year cost an average of $22,200 for families and $7,700 for individuals, a 4% increase from a year ago, according to new survey data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Why it matters: While many people lost their jobs and health insurance during the pandemic, most companies didn't rock the boat heading into 2021. But even a relatively modest increase in the already high costs of job-based insurance means workers and families continue to pay a lot more for their health care.
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The big picture: The 4% increase in health insurance premiums was the same as last year, but it still outpaced inflation, according to KFF.
Premiums almost always rise faster than the growth in workers' wages, but that gap went away for this year.
However, any gains in people's paychecks were still completely offset by higher insurance costs.
By the numbers: 155 million people get their health coverage from an employer plan.
Employers are still paying for almost 75% of the premiums, a cost that is mostly invisible to workers except if they notice it on tax forms.
People who work at smaller companies continue to shoulder higher percentages of their premiums and have higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, according to the survey data.
The bottom line: "Despite pandemic uncertainties in the labor market and health care use, employer health benefit programs have not experienced big changes," KFF analysts wrote in an accompanying article in Health Affairs.
But employer coverage remains expensive because of the high prices coming from hospitals, doctors, drug companies, and other health care entities.
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