Chart showing growth Cost growth was sharper among smaller employers (50-499 employees), at 9.6%, while larger employers reported average cost growth of 5.0%. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The average per-employee cost of employer-sponsored health insurance jumped 6.3% in 2021 — reaching $14,542 — as employees and their families resumed care after avoiding it in 2020 due to the pandemic. That’s according to Mercer’s 2021 National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, which included 1,745 public and private employers of varying sizes.

With the highest annual increase since 2010, health benefit cost outpaced growth in inflation and workers’ earnings through September, Mercer officials said, raising the question of whether employers are seeing a temporary correction to the cost trend (following last year’s increase of just 3.4%) or the start of a new period of higher cost growth. As of now, employers are projecting what Mercer refers to as a “fairly typical” average cost increase of 4.4% for 2022.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO.com, part of your ALM digital membership.

Your access to unlimited BenefitsPRO.com content isn’t changing.
Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Critical BenefitsPRO.com information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com

Already have an account?

 

BenefitsPRO

Join BenefitsPRO

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to navigate the shifting employee benefits industry. Join BenefitsPRO.com now!

  • Unlimited access to BenefitsPRO.com - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
  • Exclusive discounts on BenefitsPRO.com and ALM events.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join BenefitsPRO

Copyright © 2022 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.