In 2019, healthcare spending for Americans reached $3.8 trillion, or an average of $11,582 per person. These numbers are staggering. What are Americans getting for their money?
Learn about the factors that impact the cost of healthcare in the US and the changes in recent years.
Health costs based on age and status
Health care costs vary depending on your age and the state you live in. As you might expect, younger, healthier adults pay less for health coverage. However, even for younger adults, the cost of coverage varies greatly based on geographic location.
In 2021, the average cost of a monthly health insurance premium in the United States is $495 per month, with an average annual deductible of $5,940. In some places, the cost varies greatly from the national average. In West Virginia, the average premium is $712 with a deductible of $8,540; in neighboring Maryland, the average premium is just $344 with a deductible of $4,122.
Age is another important factor in determining the cost of health insurance policies. Consider this age breakdown for the average monthly non-subsidy health care premium:
- 18 and under: $236
- 18-24 years: $278
- 25-34 years: $329
- 35-44 years: $411
- 45-54 years: $551
- 55-64 years: $784
The costs of individual plans vs. family plans
The Affordable Care Act provides some subsidies to make health insurance more affordable for Americans. However, not everyone qualifies.
In 2020, health insurance premiums for unsubsidized individual customers averaged $456 per month, while family premiums averaged $1,152 per month. In addition, the average individual deductible was $4,364 and the family deductible was $8,439.
Over a year, the average health insurance expense for a family of four in the United States was $25,011 in 2020. This figure includes monthly premium expenses as well as deductible compliance.
How premium costs have changed in recent years
In recent years, healthcare costs, as well as monthly and annual insurance premiums, have continued to rise, both for individuals and families in America. The average annual health insurance premium for a family has increased by 22% since 2015 and 55% since 2010.
And while U.S. healthcare spending grows each year, projections estimate an annual expenditure of nearly $6 trillion by 2027, compared to $3.8 trillion in 2019.
Understanding layered coverage
In an effort to allow customers to choose a plan that meets their medical needs and budget, healthcare providers offer tiered coverage.
A basic benefits package will have higher deductibles and co-payments, but will have a much cheaper monthly premium. On the other hand, higher-tier plans with low deductibles and little or no out-of-pocket expenses may be out of reach for most Americans.
However, even basic health coverage with higher deductibles and copayments is better than the alternative – no health coverage.
Here are the statistics for average individual monthly health insurance premiums based on tiered plan choice:
- Catastrophic : $195. Catastrophic insurance only covers essential health benefits.
- Bronze : $448. A bronze plan has low monthly payments for basic health benefits and a higher deductible.
- Silver : $483 . Silver plans offer more coverage with a higher monthly premium, but a lower deductible.
- Gold : $291. A gold plan offers comprehensive health coverage with higher monthly premiums and lower-than-out-of-pocket expenses.
- Platinum : $363. The platinum plan offers the most comprehensive health benefits package with the highest monthly premium of any plan. However, you pay little or no direct expenses.
Tips for Finding Health Coverage Française |
With healthcare costs soaring, how can Americans save on healthcare and the cost of insurance? Consumers should be diligent and research to compare plans and get the most comprehensive health coverage they can afford.
If your employer offers health insurance and pays a large portion of the premium, it’s a great option to consider. Otherwise, shop the health insurance exchange for affordable coverage and make sure you qualify for any grants to help offset the cost of health insurance. Health savings accounts can also help you pay for direct expenses like copayments and deductibles.