Employers face a brutal increase in health-insurance premiums for 2023, Axios’ Arielle Dreher writes from a Kaiser Family Foundation report out this morning.
- Why it matters: Premiums stayed relatively flat this year, even as wages and inflation surged. That reprieve was because many 2022 premiums were finalized last fall, before inflation took off.
“Employers are already concerned about what they pay for health premiums,” KFF president and CEO Drew Altman said.
- “[B]ut this could be the calm before the storm … Given the tight labor market and rising wages, it will be tough for employers to shift costs onto workers when costs spike.”
🧠 What’s happening: Nearly 159 million Americans get health coverage through work — and coverage costs and benefits have become a critical factor in a tight labor market.
- Premiums have increased by 20% over the past five years, KFF says in its annual Employer Health Benefits Survey.
🔎 Between the lines: In the tight labor market, some employers absorbed rising costs of coverage instead of passing them on to workers.
- An October survey of 1,200 small businesses found that nearly half had raised prices to offset rising costs of health care.
🧮 By the numbers: It cost an average of $22,463 to cover a family through employer-sponsored health insurance in 2022, KFF found.
- Workers contributed an average of $6,106.