Study: Premiums to rise 3 percent in 2014

Premiums for employer-based family health coverage will rise 3 percent this year, one of the lowest rates of increase on record, according to a new study released Wednesday.

The cost to insure the average family through work will be $16,834 in 2015, the Kaiser Family Foundation said in its annual report, calling the figure "good news" for employers and workers.

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The modest rise reflects the overall slowdown in health spending in the slower economy.

At the same time, however, workers are shouldering a larger share of their healthcare costs without a comparable increase in wages.

Eighty percent of workers receiving employer-based coverage will pay a deductible this year before most medical services are covered by their plan. Since 2009, the average deductible has risen 47 percent to $1,217 as employers look to save on healthcare costs, researchers found.

"The deductibles for workers have crept higher over time," said Gary Claxton, Kaiser Family Foundation vice president and lead author of the study. "Today, four in 10 covered workers face at least a $1,000 deductible, nearly double the share from just five years ago."

The data sheds light on the current state of the employer-based health insurance market in the year before part of ObamaCare's employer mandate takes effect.

Starting in 2015, employers with at least 100 full-time workers could face fines if they do not offer health coverage.

The study found that nearly all employers with 100 or more workers — 94 percent — already offer some medical benefits.