Workers' share of premiums have risen 47% since 2005, while overall premiums rose 27% in the same time period, and wages increased by 18% and inflation by 12%, according to the survey of more than 3,000 employers nationwide.
What's more, workers' annual deductibles are rising. More than a quarter of the workforce—27%—have an annual deductible of $1,000 or more that they must pay before their health plans start sharing medical care costs. Among firms with fewer than 200 workers, 46% of employees have annual deductibles of at least $1,000. Meanwhile, 13% of total covered workers have consumer-driven plans, up from 8% last year.
“With the economy struggling, businesses have been shifting more of the costs of health insurance to workers through premiums, deductibles and other cost-sharing,” said Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation, in a written statement. “From a consumer perspective, the cost of health insurance just keeps going up faster than wages.”
A total of 69% of firms offered health benefits this year, up from 60% in 2009. This doesn't mean that businesses began offering coverage, however. The study authors speculate that more firms that did not offer coverage went out of business during the recession, resulting in a higher coverage rate among surviving employers. (Listen to our podcast with Drew Altman on the challenges of healthcare reform.)