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MEPS-IC: Employer Health Insurance Premiums See Modest Growth Post-ACA, Offer and Coverage Rates Continue to DropOctober 08, 2015:
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently released the first look at post-ACA national premium and employer offer estimates.
New national estimates from the 2014 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey/Insurance Component (MEPS/IC) show that:
More workers are opting to enroll in health insurance when their employers offer it to them (Figure 1).
- In 2014, 77 percent of eligible workers chose to enroll in coverage when they were offered it (known as coverage “take-up”), which is a statistically significant increase from 75 percent in 2013. This increase is a change from the decline in take-up that had occurred for more than a decade.
Fewer workers are eligible for coverage when working for employers that offer insurance (Figure 1).
- In 2014, 75 percent of workers were eligible for coverage, compared to 78% in 2013. This also is a change from trends in the previous two years, which were statistically stable.
Increases in employer-based insurance premiums were relatively moderate (Figure 2).
- Premiums for family coverage increased approximately 4 percent annually between 2013-2014 and 2012-2013, and 3.0 percent from 2011 to 2012. Total average family premiums were $16,655 in 2014, compared to $16,029 in 2013.
- Premiums for single coverage increased 5.7 percent, from a $5,517 average in 2013 to $5,832 in 2014. This jump was higher than the 2.5 percent increase seen from 2012 to 2013 and the 3.1 percent increase seen from 2011 to 2012.
- The average share of premiums paid by employees has remained relatively stable (21% for single coverage and 28% for family coverage in 2014).
The percent of workers who are employed by establishments that offer coverage fell more steeply than in prior years (Figure 3).
- The share of workers employed by establishments offering coverage dropped from 85 percent in 2013 to 83 percent in 2014. This continues a trend of decreases in percent of workers whose employers offer coverage, but this two percentage-point decrease between 2013 and 2014 is somewhat larger than decreases seen during the previous five years.
- Workers in small firms (less than 50 employees) experienced a larger decrease, with a decline of three percentage points, than those in large firms (50 or more employees), who experienced a one percentage-point decline.