The cost of health insurance in the U.S. continues to rise significantly--for employers and employees alike.

That's according to San Francisco-based nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, which published its 2019 Employer Health Benefits Survey on Wednesday. The survey of 2,012 private and public companies across the country found that employer-sponsored health care premiums cost an average of $20,576 for families and $7,188 for individuals this year. Those figures are 5 percent and 4 percent higher than 2018, respectively.

It's the latest in a long-running trend, the organization says: Average family coverage premiums have increased 22 percent over the past five years and 54 percent over the past 10 years, "significantly more than either workers' wages or inflation." Employers pay 70 percent of those premiums on average, the survey found.

Smaller, private businesses typically pass a larger proportion of health care costs on to employees. The survey notes that among companies with fewer than 200 employees, 35 percent of covered workers pay for more than half of their premiums. That's compared with just 6 percent of covered workers at larger firms.

The cost of premiums crossing the $20,000-per-year mark is "a milestone," Kaiser Family Foundation CEO Drew Altman told The Wall Street Journal. "It's the cost of buying an economy car, just buying it every year."

Published on: Sep 26, 2019