Health care insurers gouging less this year

HealthcareIf you’ve got an employer-sponsored health care plan for your family, your annual premium costs probably only went up 4% over last year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust 2013 Employer Health Benefits Survey.

Yes. Only 4%.

Wages, on the other had, went up an average of 1.8% during that time, but here’s why they say only 4%: Since 2003, premiums have increased 80%or nearly three times as fast as wages and inflation. The 4% hike isn’t as bad as the gouging people are used to getting.

“We are in a prolonged period of moderation in premiums, which should create some breathing room for the private sector to try to reduce costs without cutting back benefits for workers,” Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman said in a press release.

But don’t hold your breath. A 4% increase is still significantly outpacing inflation and wage growth.

Average annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage hit $16,351 this year with workers on average paying $4,565 toward the cost of their coverage.

Click here to read the Kaiser study.