Premiums for family plans offered by businesses are growing
Premiums for employer-sponsored family health insurance plans rose for the third consecutive year, according to a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust. Insurance rates have been climbing despite certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act becoming active this year. These provisions had been meant to offset the rate at which insurance premiums were increasing, but they have only proven to be moderately successful.
Study shows modest increase in cost of family policies
The study shows that premiums for family policies grew by 3% in 2014. Notably, this is one of the lowest increases recorded since the Kaiser Family Foundation began tracking rate increases for employer-sponsored coverage in 1999. Currently, the average annual cost of family coverage is $16,834. This cost is expected to continue increasing unless the Affordable Care Act’s provisions prove successful in their endeavor to make coverage less expensive and slow the rate at which insurance coverage is becoming more expensive.
Many businesses continue to offer health insurance to their employers
The study highlights the fact that many businesses have not chosen to make significant cuts to the health benefits they offer to their employees. This had been a significant fear during the early days of the Affordable Care Act. Some had argued that the law would mean that employers would no longer offer health benefits to their workers due to the costs associated with doing so. Thus far, this has proven to be an unfounded concern.
Employer-sponsored family plans may become more expensive in the near future
The Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that the U.S. is currently in a period of very modest premium increases. This period may be short-lived, as businesses see their insurance costs grow over the coming years. Some businesses may be able to find affordable group plans through health insurance exchanges that are being set up specifically for them. These exchanges are expected to be operational by the end of the year and will cater specifically to businesses rather than to consumers.