Tag Archives: family coverage

Premium Increases on Plans Have Slowed, But Employees’ Are Paying More

In New York, premiums for employer-sponsored family plans have slowed since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, but premiums and deductibles now eat up a larger share of employees’ incomes, according to a Commonwealth Fund report released Thursday.

Premiums for family coverage in the state grew 6% annually from 2010 to 2013, down from 7% in the seven years preceding the law. The average premium for a family, including an employer’s share, was $17,530 in 2013—an 86% increase from a decade earlier. New York data from the report are online here.

For single plans in New York, the annual growth rate of premiums rose slightly after the ACA’s passage, to 5.7% from 2010 to 2013, versus 5.5% from 2003 to 2010.

To read more, click here.

Jeffrey R. Ungvary President

Jeffrey R. Ungvary

The Search for Family Health Insurance

The search for affordable family health insurance can get complicated given the intricate rules that determine eligibility for coverage, at times creating households where some relatives remain uninsured – while others can tap private and public plans.

Challenges arise because eligibility guidelines can vary from one family member to another, depending on age, household income, family size and citizenship status. Sometimes someone with a job-based plan has different rules than the rest of the family, or the children qualify for subsidized coverage, but the parents don’t.

“These situations put many families in a bind,” says Christine Barber, a senior policy analyst at Community Catalyst, a national health advocacy organization based in Boston.

What many consumer advocates call the “family glitch” occurs when the employer-based plan only provides affordable coverage to the employee. Under the Affordable Care Act, job-based plans are deemed affordable if the cost of coverage does not exceed 9.5 percent of household income.

But what happens if the family can’t afford the additional expense of covering a spouse and children under the employer-sponsored plan?

These dependents can shop for coverage in the federal and state-run health insurance marketplaces created by the federal law. But they can’t apply for tax credits because the government’s affordability requirement is based only on the cost of coverage for the individual employee, not on the cost of coverage for the family.

“The whole family becomes ineligible for marketplace tax credits, because one member has an offer of affordable individual coverage through an employer,” Barber says. “Some family members may go without insurance because they can’t find an affordable plan.”

Nearly 4 million non-working dependents live in families where a working family member has access to affordable employer-sponsored coverage but the family does not, according to a 2011 analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

To read more, click here.

Jeffrey R. Ungvary President

Jeffrey R. Ungvary

IRS Announces Inflation-Adjusted Increase for HSAs

The IRS released increases for HSAs and high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) for 2015.

The maximum annual HSA contribution for self-only HDHP coverage will increase from $3,300 to $3,350. The maximum annual HSA contribution for family HDHP coverage will increase from $6,550 to $6,650.

  • The age 55 catch-up contribution continues to be $1,000
  • The minimum HDHP deductible limit changes:
    • Self-only coverage increased from $1,250 to $1,300
    • Family coverage increased from $2,500 to $2,600

To read more, click here.

Jeffrey R. Ungvary

President

Jeffrey R. Ungvary