As self-employed individuals, we can find ourselves with the responsibility of covering our own health benefits. That means individual and family health policy changes can make a big impact on our finances. To help stay in the know, eHealthInsurance has just released their annual Cost and Benefits of Individual and Family Health Insurance report for 2012, and the findings this year are pretty fascinating.
The average premium paid for family plans decreased in the past year.
For instance, they found that cost increases in premiums and deductibles are flattening out relative to prior years, and in fact the average premium paid for family plans decreased in the past year.
According to the report:
- The average premium paid for family health insurance policies nationwide was $412 per month, adecrease of 0.5% compared to 2011
- The average premium paid for individual policies nationwide was $190 per month, a 3.8% increase compared to 2011
For the first time in over seven years, we’re reporting an actual decrease in what the average family spends in health insurance premiums.
The objective of eHealth’s Cost and Benefits report is to provide a nationwide perspective on cost and benefit trends in the individually-purchased health insurance market, based on a large, geographically distributed sample of consumer health insurance policies purchased through eHealthInsurance.com. Offering thousands of plans from over 180 health insurance companies, eHealthInsurance is one of the few organizations with national source data reflecting consumer buying patterns and purchase prices in the individual and family health insurance market.
To learn more, you can read the full report, for now however, here are some highlights:
- The average deductible for individual policies nationwide was $3,079 per year (a 4.9% increase vs. 2011), and the average deductible for family policies was $4,079 per year (a 5.1% increase)
- For family coverage, only one state showed a double-digit percentage increase in average monthly premiums – twenty showed a decrease in average monthly premiums
- Half of all individual policyholders paid $156 (median) or less per month in premiums, and half of all family policyholders paid $352 (median) or less for monthly premiums
- Over seventeen percent (17.8%) of all plans with coverage in effect were HSA-eligible
- The average premium paid for HSA-eligible plans was $186 for individuals (a 5.1% increase vs. 2011) and $401 for families (a 3.1% increase)
- Almost all individual or family plan policyholders selected plans that included lab/x-ray (99.2%) and emergency room coverage (99.7%)
- The majority of individual and family plan policyholders purchased plans that covered benefits like OB/GYN care (90.5%), prescription drugs (88.1%) ,periodic exams (88.0%) and well baby coverage (87.1%)
What are your biggest concerns about health care and your business? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!