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Employer’s Health Insurance Spending Increases, Kaiser Survey Finds


The number one concern cited about the new health care reform law is the fear that it will increase costs. In the instance of employer health insurance coverage spending, this appears to be coming true. A survey released by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust finds that spending on health coverage for workers has spiked abruptly this year.

The survey finds that employers are spending an average of 9% more for a family plan, which is triple the growth seen in 2010. The same survey found that average family premiums last year only increased by 3%. Workers are spending about $4,100 for family health insurance coverage.

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Coverage for single employees has also increased, up 8% to an average cost of $921 toward the premium for health insurance coverage.
Premiums for health insurance have increased steadily over the past ten years, finds the Kaiser study. Although many benefit analysts say that the health care reform law has only played a small part in that increase, opponents to health care reform have begun making references to the survey findings, saying the law adds costly new mandates.

"Despite the president's repeated promises that the Democrats health care law would lower the cost of health insurance, employers are still facing higher health costs," said Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Wally Herger, R-Calif., in a written statement.

Factors that play a role in premium growth include spending on medical care, increases in prices charged by hospitals and doctors, and growing use of expensive new drugs and technologies.