WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) -- Employer-based insurance premiums for families increased
4% over last year, a sign that researchers from the Kaiser Family
Foundation said Tuesday indicates the 2010 health care law has not led
to significant price increases or dropped insurance coverage by
Prices increased the same amount the previous year, 2012, and by 9% in 2011.
survey, conducted between January and May 2013 and matched against the
corresponding period in 2012, was released by the Kaiser Family
Foundation, a non-profit group that studies health care issues. It
showed that premium contributions by employees increased about $40 per
year for individuals and about $250 a year for families.
Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, said the report was
"good news," adding that the law, also known as the Affordable Care Act,
has not caused employers to raise premiums or drop coverage.
critics of Obamacare will have a much harder time blaming big premium
increases on Obamacare this year because there aren't big premium
increases," he said.
The survey also found that 93% of employers
with more than 50 employees offer health insurance, even as the Obama
administration has delayed for a year a requirement that employers with
more than 50 workers provide health insurance.
said that employees are still paying more for health care, because
their salary increases, if they have received any, have not kept pace
with rising health care costs over the past decade. The survey found
that lower-wage employees tend to contribute more for their
employer-based insurance than higher-paid workers.
that people have is people still feel the pain of health care costs,"
said study lead author Gary Claxton, director of the foundation's health
care marketplace project. "That does not call into question that this
is a modest rise in premiums - this is good news."
health care premiums have risen 80%, the study showed. Wages have risen
only 31% and inflation has gone up 27% in that same period.
last year, the study showed that premiums for families averaged
$16,351, with workers paying about $4,565 toward their premiums. Wages
went up 1.8% and general inflation increased 1.1% over the last year.
surveyed more than 2,000 small (up to 199 employees) and large
employers. They found that employers with at least 35% of employees
making less than $23,000 a year required workers to pay $1,363 a year
more than employers with fewer lower-wage employees.
are still unsure about why health costs have remained fairly stable over
the past couple of years, but Altman said both a slowed economy and
changes in the health care system have contributed. At the same time, he
said, mergers and consolidation of hospital systems could be pushing up
Wellness programs have also become more popular with
employers, with almost all large employers offering smoking cessation,
biometric monitoring or lifestyle counseling.