The health-insurance premiums employers pay rose sharply this year, with the average annual cost of family coverage passing the $15,000 mark for the first time... The 9% average increase... comes despite a continued trend toward more limited use of medical services in the U.S. Last year, family premiums rose just 3%, the survey found.
Employers' average annual family premium for 2011 was $15,073, up from $13,770 last year. For a single worker, the figure was $5,429, up 8% from $5,049 in 2010. The increase in employees' average premium contribution for a family plan was far less: 3% to $4,129, according to the survey.
...The premium figures aren't in constant dollars but show a significantly steeper rise than general inflation.
Drew Altman, chief executive of the Kaiser Family Foundation, cited a number of possible factors in the employers' premium jump, including projections that employees would use more health-care services than they did, continued increases in health-care prices, insurers' push for profits and, to some extent, the federal health-care overhaul.
Gee, ya think?
Whatever you do, please don't call the 15-member board -- that will decide which treatments you are eligible for -- a "death panel".
I like to call them a "fun panel".