California Employer Health Benefits: Workers Shoulder More Costs

Heidi Whitmore, NORC at the University of Chicago
Jon Gabel, NORC at the University of Chicago


From 2000 to 2017, the percentage of employers offering health insurance coverage has declined from 69% to 56%. At the same time, workers are shouldering more of the costs for their health care with increasing premiums and higher deductibles and copays.

California Employer Health Benefits: Workers Shoulder More Costs presents data compiled from the 2017 California Employer Health Benefits Survey.

Key findings include:

  • From 2016 to 2017, health insurance premiums for family coverage increased by 4.6%, slightly higher than the 3.0% inflation rate.
  • Average monthly premiums, including the employer portion, were significantly higher in California than the national average. In 2017, the average premium was $604 for single coverage and $1,643 for family coverage.
  • California workers paid an average of 17% of the total premium for single coverage and 27% for family coverage.
  • One in 4 workers had an annual deductible of at least $1,000 for single coverage. Large deductibles were more common among workers in small firms (3 to 199 workers) than larger firms. Nearly 60% of workers had no deductible.
  • In 2017, 25% of California firms reported increasing cost sharing for workers in the past year, and 37% reported that they are very or somewhat likely to increase their workers’ share of premiums in the next year.

 

The full report, all of the charts found in the report, and the data files are available under Related Materials. These materials are part of CHCF’s California Health Care Almanac, an online clearinghouse for key data and analyses describing the state’s health care landscape.

The California Employer Health Benefits Survey is a joint product of CHCF and the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. The survey was designed and analyzed by researchers at NORC and administered by National Research.