By Jeanette Brown
- The annual cost of family health insurance coverage at work soared to an average of nearly $24K this year
- 60% of Black adults and 65% of Hispanic adults report difficulty affording health care costs compared to about 39% of White adults
The annual cost of family health insurance coverage at work is soaring with employees shelling out an average of $6,575 for their share of the premium, up almost $500, or close to 8%, from last year. This considerable increase in health insurance premiums could be the tipping point with nearly two-thirds of employed Black and Hispanic adults who reported difficulty affording health care costs.
Why This Matters: Health inequities exist for racial and ethnic minorities, along with persons with lower educational attainment. In turn, this creates a differential exposure to economic, social, structural, and environmental health risks and limited access to health care. Specifically, 60% of Black adults and 65% of Hispanic adults report difficulty affording health care costs compared to about 39% of white adults.
A surge in employer-based premium costs comes as accelerating inflation is putting a dent in workers’ and employers’ wallets and driving up medical device and drug costs, a report from the American Hospital Association shows. It also comes amid a series of mergers in the healthcare industry that have diminished incentives for insurers to price their coverage plans competitively.
More than 40 healthcare organizations filed for bankruptcy during the first six months of 2023, compared to 46 filing in the full year in 2022. All of these things have led to the annual cost of family health insurance coverage at work creeping up to an average of nearly $24,000 this year.
Situational Awareness: Historically, restructuring costs require organizations to raise the cost of services or downsize. The health inequities are unacceptably high and warrant investments in policies and interventions to promote health equity for racial and ethnic minorities, along with adults with less than a 4-year college degree. There will be costs to address health inequities, but there are also substantial costs associated with not doing so.
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