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Reproduced from Kaiser Family Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals

The cost of job-based health insurance averaged more than $21,000 for families and almost $7,500 for individuals in 2020 — roughly 4% higher than 2019, according to new survey data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The big picture: These costs only accounted for coverage offered heading into 2020, and therefore didn't factor in the coronavirus pandemic. And although the 4% growth rate was the lowest since 2017, it still exceeded the average growth of workers' wages (3.4%) and general inflation (2.1%) — meaning employer health care continues to eat away at people's budgets.

Between the lines: Employers did not alter their health benefits a lot, and fewer than 10% of companies switched insurance companies, according to KFF's survey.

Yes, but: Family health coverage still costs as much as a new car or compact SUV, every year.

  • Employers are footing three-quarters of the cost, which workers don't really see.
  • These coverage costs also don't account for out-of-pocket spending like deductibles and coinsurance, which have risen steadily over the past decade.

What we're watching: Companies are offering 2021 coverage to their employees right now, and final numbers won't be out until this time next year.

The bottom line: If you get your health insurance through work — as a plurality of Americans do — it continues to consume more of your compensation because of the high prices and administrative costs throughout the health care system.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Jan 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden's COVID package also progressive wish list

President-elect Joe Biden. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A crisis is a terrible thing to waste — and President-elect Joe Biden, emboldened by Democratic Senate victories in Georgia, signaled in his speech Thursday night he has no intention of wasting this one.

Why it matters: The president-elect rolled out a $1.9 trillion package headlined for its coronavirus relief but including billions in spending for cybersecurity, transit, wages, health care and other progressive programs.

Jan 15, 2021 - Health

Women's health care jobs aren't coming back as fast as men's

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Health care jobs held by women have come back much more slowly than jobs held by men, mirroring trends in the economy overall.

Why it matters: The vast majority of health care workers infected with COVID-19 have been women, and they've borne the brunt of the industry's economic woes, too.

21 mins ago - World

Army to award Purple Hearts to troops injured in Iran missile attack

Damage at Ain al-Asad military airbase housing U.S. and other foreign troops in the western Iraqi province of Anbar in January 2020. Photo: Ayman Henna/AFP via Getty Images

The Army has approved 39 more Purple Hearts for U.S. soldiers wounded in an Iranian military ballistic missile attack on an Iraq base in January 2020, the Army Times first reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: Most of these soldiers sustained brain injuries, per the Army Times. Then-President Trump dismissed their injuries at the time as "headaches" and "not very serious," sparking backlash from some veterans groups.