The average cost of health insurance depends on a variety of factors, including who is paying for the cost of health coverage. Costs for health care include premiums that are paid for Medicare, a group health insurance policy paid by an employer and individual insurance policies. Individual costs for health insurance can include out-of-pocket costs such as premium payments, deductible and co-payments. Costs also include payments that are made on a monthly or yearly basis.
The national average for health care costs per person is increasing drastically each year. In 2007, the average cost per person for health insurance coverage was $7,421, which was an increase of 6 percent compared to the previous year. In 2008, the average cost for health care per person surpassed $8,000. The yearly increases for health care are outstripping inflation.
Health care costs for single coverage have risen each year for employers that provide a group health insurance policy to their employees. Employer premiums for coverage from 2006 to 2007 increased 6 percent. Employers paid an average of $4,479 per employee for health insurance coverage during that period.
The contributions that employees make toward their health care costs are also increasing each year. Employees who have single coverage contributed an average of about $730 toward their health insurance premiums in 2007.
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Employees who pay out-of-pocket costs typically pay a deductible, a co-payment and co-insurance amount. Deductible amounts per employee range from $400 and $460, depending on whether a preferred provider organization or health maintenance organization was used. When a co-payment was applied, the costs averaged nearly $210 in 2007.
High Deductible Health Plans
Many individuals have high deductible health insurance plans either through an employer or an individual health insurance policy. Deductibles for these types of health plans can range from $2,000 to $3,000 or more, depending on what is chosen for the plan. The deductible cost for these health plans can be offset when a health reimbursement or health savings account is used.
Medicare and Medicaid
The costs of Medicare and Medicaid are also increasing each year as more money is spent as people age or lose their jobs. These programs are going to have a bigger share of individual costs not only to state and federal government, but to every person who pays premiums and deductibles.