The Cost of Health Insurance: Revealing What Employers Pay

Health Insurance

Many factors affect health insurance premiums. Some are obvious, such as the type of plan chosen. For example, a Platinum plan costs more than a Bronze or Silver plan.

Other factors that influence the cost of private health insurance include the deductible and coinsurance rates. 

Cost of Coverage

Health insurance costs are complicated, and many factors can affect it. For example, premiums can vary based on the scope of coverage, the insured person’s age, and location. Additionally, copays and coinsurance can significantly increase an individual’s healthcare expenses. It is important to consider all these costs together to understand the true cost of health care.

So, how much do employers pay for health insurance? A large employer’s average family health insurance plan costs about $1,779 per month. While that may seem high, the employee’s employer covers most of those costs. In fact, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), employers must cover 50% of their employees’ coverage costs. Despite this requirement, employer contributions to health insurance are often not enough to offset the growing cost of coverage. This is especially true for middle-income families. In 2020, workers’ premium contributions plus potential spending on deductibles consumed more than 8.5 percent of their median incomes. This is up from 9.1 percent in 2010. This is a significant burden for middle-income workers.


A deductible is the out-of-pocket expenses an employee pays each year before the health insurance plan starts to pay. Deductibles are yearly amounts, and they differ from plan to plan.

In addition to a deductible, many plans have copayments and coinsurance, fixed dollar amounts an employee pays for medical services, such as a doctor visit or prescription. These costs may or may not count toward the deductible, depending on the plan and the type of service.

The plan’s cost also depends on where an employee lives and the type of healthcare provided in that region. Some regions have higher costs of obtaining care, which can lead to plans with higher deductibles and copayment/coinsurance. Finally, the premium for a plan is affected by administrative costs and state or federal mandates that require certain coverage. For example, a policy may need to include fertility and reproductive health benefits. This leads to plans with higher premiums. These factors make it important for employees to understand their deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance so they can choose the right plan for them.


Copays are fixed fees insurance companies charge for specific services, such as office visits or prescription drugs. These fees are charged on top of a plan’s deductible and out-of-pocket maximum. The benefit of this type of cost sharing is that the patient knows what they are responsible for before seeking care.

Deductibles and copays differ from premiums, which are the monthly payments you make for health coverage. The difference is that a deductible is the amount of money you pay for healthcare costs before your insurance begins to pay, while a copay is a fixed fee attached to certain services.

Health insurers negotiate lower rates with doctors, hospitals, and clinics in their network. This is why choosing a plan that offers medical providers in your network is important. In-network healthcare services are typically cheaper and count toward your deductible. On the other hand, out-of-network healthcare services are usually more expensive and will not count toward your deductible or out-of-pocket maximum. This is how health insurance companies make their money.


The costs associated with health insurance result from various factors, including deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. These terms can confuse those unfamiliar with them, but understanding how they work is essential to calculating the overall cost of health insurance for an individual or business.

Generally, a health plan will pay for medical expenses once the enrollee meets or exceeds a deductible. Still, the amount that the enrollee pays will be based on the coinsurance percentage chosen by the insurer. For example, if an enrollee has 20% coinsurance, the health plan will pay 80% of eligible expenses after the deductible.

Insurers negotiate rates with physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers in their networks to establish the allowed amounts for specific services. These allowed amounts are the charges that health care providers will bill an enrollee, and the copays or coinsurance that the enrollee owes will be calculated based on the negotiated rate.


Premiums are payments to health insurance companies that give people access to coverage. They are often paid every month, typically due by a certain date each month, plus a grace period. Premiums are different from other costs associated with health insurance, such as deductibles and copayments, which are amounts that employees pay before the insurer starts paying for treatment.

Health insurance costs have been rising rapidly, and many people find that they can’t afford it. These rising premiums have also affected the federal budget because the government subsidizes most private health insurance.

High and rising premiums are a problem for enrollees, but they’re also a problem for businesses that offer health benefits. These costs can take a big bite out of profit margins and cause businesses to hesitate about offering health benefits to employees. However, there are several ways that business owners can keep their health insurance costs down. These strategies include implementing plan options, encouraging employees to build healthy habits, and using lower-cost care providers.