Employers passing cost of healthcare onto employees in tougher economy, Kaiser Foundation finds

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Although premiums for family health coverage rose by just 3% in 2010, workers' shares of the cost of the plans has jumped 14%, according to a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The average worker is paying roughly $4,000 this year for family health insurance, according to the Employer Health Benefits Survey, which was released Thursday. The average amount employers contribute to the plans did not increase over the last year, the survey found. In addition to the disparity of contribution, Kaiser found that many employers are raising employees' annual deductibles. Roughly 27% of workers now have a $1,000 deductible, up from 22% in 2009.

The increased cost to workers comes as more and more businesses are shifting their costs onto employees during the economic recession, which results in healthcare costs for workers rising much faster than wages, according to Drew Altman, Ph.D, president and CEO of Kaiser. Since 2005, workers' contributions to premiums have gone up 47%, while overall premiums have risen 27%, wages have increased 18%, and inflation has jumped 12%, according to a Kaiser statement.