Blog & News
Exploring Cost and Coverage Rates in Employer-Sponsored Insurance (Infographic)September 5, 2023:
Throughout the United States, a majority of Americans and their families receive health insurance coverage through their employer. In 2021, the number of people covered by this type of coverage—known as employer-sponsored insurance or ESI—exceeded 169 million. While a fuller picture of the coverage landscape will be available later this fall as agencies such the U.S. Census Bureau release more health insurance data, in this blog and infographic, SHADAC researchers use recently released data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey-Insurance Component (MEPS-IC) to analyze private-sector ESI and provide an initial snapshot of estimates for 2022 on a national level and within the states.
Key Findings (2022 vs. 2021)
- The offer of employer-sponsored insurance coverage was extended to a large majority of private-sector workers. In 2022, 85.6% of employees in the U.S. worked in establishments that offered health insurance coverage, a rate that was statistically unchanged from 2021 (85.7%).
Employee Coverage Costs
- The average annual premium for single coverage significantly increased to $7,590 in 2022, a $210 or 2.8% increase from 2021.
- Among the states, average annual single premiums ranged from $6,713 in Oklahoma to $8,936 in New York.
- For those enrolled in family coverage, average annual premiums also significantly increased. In this case, premiums increased to $21,931 in 2022, a $550 or 2.6% increase from 2021.
- Among the states, average annual family premiums ranged from $19,003 in Oklahoma to $25,892 in Alaska.
- For single coverage, the 2022 average individual deductible was $1,992, unchanged from 2021 ($2,004).
- Among the states, average individual deductibles ranged from $1,343 in D.C. to $2,771 in Maine.
- Among those enrolled in family coverage, the average deductible per employee enrolled was $3,811 in 2022. This was also unchanged from 2021 ($3,868).
- Among the states, average family deductibles ranged from $3,009 in D.C. to $4,858 in South Dakota.
High-Deductible Health Plans*
- In 2022, the share of employees enrolled in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) decreased significantly in 2022 to 53.6% – a decrease of 2.1 percentage points from 2021.
- Among the states, the percent of private-sector employees enrolled in high-deductible health plans ranged from 21.8% in Hawaii to to 72.2% in South Dakota.
With so many Americans relying on an employer for health insurance coverage, measures of ESI coverage and cost remain important indicators of the financial and health burdens many individuals and families face. These measures will be of greater importance going forward as some current Medicaid enrollees may transition to employer coverage during the 2023-2024 unwinding of the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement. SHADAC is monitoring the unwinding process through a variety of avenues, including: federal surveys, state dashboards, and state-based marketplace data.
In 2022, as in previous years, premiums continued to rise, though premium increases were small compared to the relatively high rate of inflation in 2022. Average deductibles were unchanged from 2021, which represents a break from the long-running trend of increasing deductibles. Additionally, the share of private sector employees enrolled in high-deductible plans decreased by a small but statistically significant margin, which represented the first decrease since 2013. With regard to coverage, a large majority of workers were employed in establishments that offered health insurance coverage, and this was unchanged from 2021.
Notes and Sources
* High-deductible health plans (HDHP) are defined as plans that meet the minimum deductible amount required for Health Savings Account (HSA) eligibility ($1,400 for an individual and $2,800 for a family in 2022).
Data are from the 2022 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey–Insurance Component (MEPS-IC), produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Health insurance coverage estimates through 2021 are available on SHADAC’s State Health Compare web tool at statehealthcompare.shadac.org, and estimates for 2022 will be added soon.