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Kaiser Health News reported in November that health insurance costs during the past decade are up 55% for employer-sponsored coverage – although costs were up only 4% for 2020. The average family premium in 2020 was $21,342, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) study released in October.

Employees, on average, in 2020 paid nearly $5,600 toward family coverage, which was up from about $4,000 in 2010 and $1,600 two decades ago.

The lower percentage increase this year was in line with the average 3% to 5% annual bump since 2012. According to KFF, it’s been more than 15 years since employer-sponsored health insurance costs increased by double-digit percentages.

According to other data released this year by KFF, about 156 million Americans – including more than 18.2 million Californians – get their health insurance through employer-sponsored coverage.

California ranks first in the number of persons insured through workplace coverage, although other states rank higher in the percentage of residents insured. In the Golden State, about 47% of the state’s population has employer-sponsored health insurance. In Utah, 60% of residents have group health insurance.

Nationally, on average, the typical worker pays 17% of the premium for family coverage and more than a quarter (27%) of the cost of family coverage.

As far as premium changes go for the new year, insurers participating in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces for 2021 had to file planned rates by mid-October. The open enrollment period for the ACA exchanges, including Covered California, began November 1, 2020, for 2021 coverage.

Insurers set premiums for 2021 while the nation was coping with COVID-19. KFF’s analysis found no adjustments to premiums by most carriers due to the coronavirus. For California health plans reviewed by KFF, rate changes for 2021 range from a rate reduction of 4.6% to an increase of 9%.

For participants in Nevada’s Health Link exchange, there are two new entrants in the state program for 2021. Among returning insurers, rate changes ranged from a reduction of five percent to an increase of 11%.

It’s important to note that most enrollment in the ACA marketplaces is for Individual & Family Plan (IFP) coverage, although both the California and Nevada exchanges do offer Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) coverage.

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