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November 21, 2019 | Number of The Day
NJ employees’ ranking among states for highest family health insurance premiums

New Jersey employees paid the fourth highest premiums in the nation for family health insurance coverage received through their employers in 2018, according to a new report released today by the Commonwealth Fund.

The average annual premium of $6,253 paid by New Jersey workers was about $800 more than the national average. Only workers in Virginia, the District of Columbia and Louisiana paid more.

The fund’s report, Trends in Employer Health Care Coverage, 2008–2018: Higher Costs for Workers and Their Families, found that many working families are spending more of their incomes on health care than they did a decade ago because health insurance costs and deductibles have been growing faster than median income in all states.

The typical New Jersey employee paid about $1 of every $10 of income for health coverage — both premiums and deductibles. That totaled $8,281 last year, about $900 more than the national average. Workers paid more only in Arizona, Minnesota, New Hampshire and South Dakota. New Jersey workers’ total health coverage payments essentially doubled between 2008 and 2018, the data show. Still, because New Jersey has a higher median income than the nation, the 10% of income used to cover health costs was smaller last year than the national average of 11.5%.

“Over the last decade, employer health insurance premiums and deductibles have grown faster than workers’ wages,” said Sara Collins, lead author of the study and a Commonwealth Fund vice president. “This is concerning, because it may put both coverage and health care out of reach for millions of people. Several simple policy steps, such as fixing the Affordable Care Act’s family coverage glitch, have the potential to make health care more affordable for U.S. families.”