Lower paid workers contribute more for medical care benefits than higher paid workers

November 02, 2016

About half of private industry workers participated in employer-provided medical plans in March 2016. Among the workers who participated in these plans, 84 percent were in plans that required them to contribute toward the cost of the premiums for single coverage; 92 percent were in plans that required them to contribute toward the cost of the premiums for family coverage. The average employee contribution was $126.68 per month for single coverage and $511.47 per month for family coverage. For workers with an average wage in the lowest 10 percent, the average employee contribution for single coverage was $143.60 per month. That was higher than the average contribution of $122.21 per month for workers with an average wage in the highest 10 percent.

 

 

Private industry employee and employer premiums for single-coverage medical care benefit plans that require employee contributions, by wage category, March 2016
Wage category Average flat monthly employee contribution Average flat monthly employer premium

Lowest 10 percent

$143.60 $378.39

Lowest 25 percent

133.75 362.66

Second 25 percent

128.60 382.35

Third 25 percent

126.26 393.73

Highest 25 percent

123.07 412.04

Highest 10 percent

122.21 415.15

For family coverage, the average contribution was $575.10 per month for workers with an average wage in the lowest 10 percent. The average employee contribution was $452.80 per month for workers with an average wage in the highest 10 percent.

 

 

Private industry employee and employer premiums for family-coverage medical care benefit plans that require employee contributions, by wage category, March 2016
Wage category Average flat monthly employee contribution Average flat monthly employer premium

Lowest 10 percent

$575.10 $938.77

Lowest 25 percent

555.30 849.77

Second 25 percent

542.47 918.73

Third 25 percent

509.37 989.29

Highest 25 percent

474.14 1,057.48

Highest 10 percent

452.80 1,069.94
These data are from the National Compensation Survey — Benefits program. For more information, see National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2016.
SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Lower paid workers contribute more for medical care benefits than higher paid workers on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/lower-paid-workers-contribute-more-for-medical-care-benefits-than-higher-paid-workers.htm (visited September 19, 2017).

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