Premiums for employer-sponsored health coverage rose an average 7.7 percent in 2006, less than the 9.2 percent increase recorded in 2005 and the recent peak of 13.9 percent in 2003, according to the 2006 Employer Health Benefits Survey released by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust. This year’s increase is the slowest rate of premium growth since 2000, though premiums still increased more than twice as quickly as workers’ wages (3.8 percent) and overall inflation (3.5 percent). Premiums have increased 87 percent over the past six years. Family health coverage now costs an average of $11,480 annually, with workers paying an average of $2,973 toward those premiums, about $1,354 more than in 2000.
Go to http://www.kff.org/insurance/ehbs092606nr.cfm to read the full press release on the survey.