Workers in most states spend more than 10% of their salary on health coverage

In 37 states, 10% or more of the median income of workers is spent on health insurance premiums and deductibles, according to a Jan. 12 analysis from the Commonwealth Fund.

The study analyzed state-by-state trends from 2010 to 2020 in private sector employer health insurance premiums and deductibles for those under 65.

Ten takeaways:

1. Between 2010 and 2020, premiums and deductible expenses as a percentage of average income increased from 9.1% of a worker’s income to 11.6%. On average in 2020, premiums cost 6.9% of a worker’s income and deductibles 4.7%.

2. Between 2015 and 2019, per capita spending on employer’s health plan coverage increased 22%, outpacing inflation and economic growth.

3. Employees in the bottom quartile of average wages paid the most for family contributions. Compared to the national average of $ 5,978, those in the bottom 25 percent of the average wage paid $ 6,911. Only those in the top 25 percent of average wages paid less than the national average.

4. In 2020, 37 states saw premiums and deductible expenses exceed 10% of median income, up from 10 states in 2010.

5. The workers contributing most of their earnings to health care coverage were middle-class workers from Mississippi and New Mexico, contributing 19% and 18% of their earnings, respectively. Louisiana, Oklahoma and Florida were also among the states where coverage costs accounted for more than 15% of median employee income.

6. Hawaii was the state with the lowest employee contribution to health coverage, with contributions representing 9.4 percent of the median income of state employees.

7. The national average premium contribution for a single person was $ 1,532. North Carolina had the most expensive average ($ 1,895) and Hawaii had the lowest ($ 852).

8. Florida had the highest average family contribution at $ 7,674, with Washignton having the lowest at $ 4,610. The national average was $ 5,978.

9. The average national deductible contribution for a single person was $ 1,945. Montana had the highest state average ($ 2,517) while Hawaii had the lowest ($ 1,346)

10. To combat health insurance costs exceeding wages, the study authors said the Biden administration’s Build Back Better plan would provide the most advancement to the Affordable Care Act, offering to employees subsidized alternatives to increasingly expensive work plans.

“Employer health insurance dramatically reduces the income of many working families, leaving them with less money to spend on shelter and food, and millions of dollars in medical debt,” said Sara Collins, senior author of the study. “But policy solutions are available, including making the improvements to the Build Back Better Act temporary coverage permanent and correcting the Affordable Care Act family coverage problem.”

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