When you think about the cost of health insurance, you may be focusing on the premium. But it’s a good idea to weigh the benefits against all the costs you can incur. Out-of-pocket costs can add up quickly, especially if you have a chronic health condition. Health care costs include:
- Monthly premiums
- Deductibles, coinsurance and copayments
- Costs not covered by insurance, such as procedures not deemed medically necessary and over-the-counter products
The following factors can influence the cost of your health insurance:
- Tobacco use
Employer-sponsored health insurance
Large employers that do not offer affordable health insurance with at least “minimum essential coverage” are subject to an IRS penalty known as an employer shared responsibility payment. This requirement gives companies an incentive to offer coverage to employees and their families.
If you work for a large employer, you probably enrolled in one of your company’s group health insurance plans. Whether or not your employer is required to share in the premium cost is driven by state law.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that companies across the U.S. in 2020 paid 67% of their employees’ premiums for family coverage. According to the BLS, here is the average amount employees contributed toward their premiums:
- Individual coverage: $1,665 per year ($138.75 per month)
- Family coverage: $6,797 per year ($566.42 per month)
If you are not enrolled in a group health plan with an employer or union, it is in your best interest to compare plans available in your area. Costs and benefits can vary – so take the time to find the plan that meets your needs.