Thursday, February 25, 2021

Private Sector Employee-Only Health Premium Costs in the Far West

Private employers in Far West states usually incur annual costs for single premium (i.e. employee-only) health insurance coverage that are lower than in other regions of the U.S.  An exception is Alaska, where small firms, with fewer than 50 employees, and larger firms both face annual premium costs well in excess of the national average for similar-sized firms.  Larger firms in the state of Washington also face higher than the national average employee-only premium rates, but only slightly higher.  Elsewhere in the Far West, private employers typically incur annual premium rates for employee-only health insurance coverage that are below the national average for similar-sized employers. Data from the most recent (2019) Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, which is a survey administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, reveals the following about private sector employee-only health premium costs in the Far West region and nationally:

State (1) Small Firms (2) Large Firms Overall Avg.
AK $9,427 $8,841 $8,933
CA $6,874 $6,955 $6,939
HI $6,746 $6,634 $6,671
OR $5,933 $6,846 $6,651
WA $6,259 $7,052 $6,897
U.S. $6,920 $6,983 $6,972

(1) fewer than 50 employees
(2) 50 or more employees

Source:  Medical Expenditure Panel Survey  Table II.C.1 - Average total single premium (in dollars) per enrolled employee at private-sector establishments that offer health insurance by firm size and State: United States, 2019