News and Commentary

Single and family enrollment in high-premium plans


Data presented in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality indicate that about 13 percent of employees in companies with 10 or fewer employees had premiums of $7,200 or more a year for single-coverage plans in 2008. This group is more likely to have high premiums than employees at companies with 1,000 or more workers. High-premium plans, for this discussion, have premiums at the 95th percentile or higher.

For workers with single enrollee coverage, 12.8 percent of enrollees at very small companies and 7.4 percent of enrollees at companies with 10 to 24 employees had annual premiums of $7,200 or more. In companies with a thousand or more employees, only 3.8 percent of enrollees with single coverage had premiums of $7,200 or more.

For family coverage, 7.3 percent of enrollees in very small companies had premiums equal to or greater than $19,000. The percentage of family enrollees at other company sizes in high-premium plans did not differ from the overall average in 2008.

Percentage of enrollees with single coverage costing ≥ $7,200 (95th percentile), by company size

Percentage of enrollees with family coverage costing ≥ $19,000 (95th percentile), by company size

*Statistically different from all enrollees at 0.05 level
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends. Insurance component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey

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