CA Premiums Beat US, Lose to Inflation

February 20, 2002 ( -Although premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance in California rose by 9.9% last year, double the state's 4.3% inflation rate, premiums still remained lower than in the rest of the US, a survey finds.

The study by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET) also revealed that smaller businesses – those employing between three and 200 workers – were hardest hit.

Premiums at these firms increased by 11.3% on average – with 30% of these smaller firms experiencing premium hikes of over 15%.

In 2001, monthly premiums in California averaged $197 for single coverage and  $521 for family coverage. In the US as a whole, single coverage cost $221 on average, and family coverage was $588.

Employee Bill

Employee contributions in California are also lower than the national average. In 2001, California’s workers:

  • contributed $21 per month on average for single coverage
  • paid $114 for family coverage in 2001.


  • workers paid $30 on average per month for a single policy
  • while family policies cost $150.

While employee contributions to their health insurance remained level between 2000 and 2001, the holiday may be over.

Some 35% of small employers are likely to increase the amount that employees pay for health insurance as are two-thirds of larger employers.