Young people in the workforce may have their own health insurance plans for the first time in their lives – and they may be staggered by the high cost of health coverage.
The Scranton Times-Tribune, quoting the Kaiser Family Foundation, reports September 27 that single-coverage plans cost $899 this year, on average. That's 5 percent more than last year's average cost of $779.
And, troublingly, workers are being shouldered with more of the health insurance burden. In 2010, the foundation found, workers were expected to contribute 19 percent of the total cost of their premium, up from 17 percent last year. Insurance is getting more expensive with every passing year, and employers are passing those cost increases to workers: Since 2000, worker contributions have risen by 147 percent.
The recent economic downturn may have only exacerbated the problem. Many businesses have increased employees' health insurance burdens in a bid to cut costs – Kaiser said earlier this month that workers will pay 14 percent more for insurance this year than last, even though premiums are only rising by 3 percent.
Young workers concerned about their insurance costs may benefit from studying the plans offered by their employer at the next open enrollment period. Those usually take place in January.