Annual employee benefits survey reveals 2020 trends

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The 2020 benchmark KFF Employer Health Benefits Survey is here. This annual survey of employers takes a closer look at common trends in employer-sponsored health coverage.

Trends covered in the survey include premiums, employee contributions, cost-sharing provisions, offer rates, wellness programs, and employer practices. The survey was conducted through 1,765 interviews with non-federal public and private firms*.

The survey reports that annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose 4% to more than $21,000 this year. Individual contributions landed at an average of $5,588 annually toward the cost of family coverage, although employers are contributing more than in years past.

The change in premiums is similar to the year-to-year rise in workers’ earnings (3.4%) and inflation (2.1%). Employees aren’t paying much more than they were before and deductibles have stayed relatively stable. Over time, what employers and workers pay toward premiums has risen faster than wages and inflation. Since 2010, average family premiums have increased 55%, at least twice as fast as wages (27%) and inflation (19%).

Other findings in the survey included the discovery that offer rates have remained steady. According to the survey, 56% of employers offer health benefits, a number that has remained constant over the last five years. The study also found that, the larger the employer, the more likely they are to offer health benefits to at least some workers, with roughly 53% of firms with fewer than 50 workers and 99% of firms with at least 200 or more employees offering coverage.

Almost all covered workers are in plans with a limit on in-network cost sharing, also called an out-of-pocket maximum, for single coverage. Those limits vary, with 11% of covered workers in plans with maximums of less than $2,000 and 18% of covered workers in plans with maximums of at least $6,000.

For more details on the extent of the test, read the full article here.

*Note the survey was conducted from January-July 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic may have taken the biggest toll on respondents.