Top Five Best and Worst States for Group Health Plans | Chicago Benefits Broker

By Matt Weimer, Director of Strategic Solutions
Diversified Insurance Solutions, Inc., a UBA Partner Firm

TopFiveHealth insurance premium renewal rates increased an average of 6.2 percent for all plans in 2015, up from the previous year’s 5.6 percent increase, according to UBA’s Health Plan Survey. Small businesses with fewer than 25 employees, which account for five million U.S. employers, were hit the hardest—see our breaking news with the details.

When looking at the data regionally, the Northeast continues to be the region with the highest average annual health insurance cost per employee in the country, with four of the five highest cost states in that region. Plans in the Northeast continue to cost the most since they typically have low or no deductibles, contain more state-mandated benefits, and feature higher in-network coinsurance, among other factors. But the state with the highest average annual cost per employee is on the other side of the continent.

Alaska tops the chart with an average annual cost of $12,822 per employee. To put that in perspective, that is 27.4% above the national average of $9,736 per employee annually, and 11.8% above next highest cost state of Massachusetts, at $11,468. Rounding out the top five are New York at $12,162, New Jersey at $12,059 and Vermont at $11,920 per employee per year in average annual health insurance costs.

Average Annual Health Care Cost per Employee

Highest Cost StatesLowest Cost States
Alaska $12,822Hawaii $7,610
New York 12,162Arkansas 7,704
New Jersey 12,059New Mexico 7,793
Vermont 11,920Virginia 7,858
Massachusetts 11,468Oklahoma 7,915

On the other end of the spectrum, Hawaii has the lowest average annual cost per employee, which is 24.5% below the national average at $7,610. In contrast, Alaska’s average annual cost is 51.0% higher than Hawaii. Other states that fare better than the national average and are among the five best states for health plan costs are Arkansas ($7,704), New Mexico ($7,793), Virginia ($7,858), and Oklahoma ($7,915).

To see your state’s average monthly premiums, download our free (no form!) State-by-State chart.

See our news release for health plan cost trends by industry—there is some surprising news about the finance industry.

To quickly benchmark your plan by industry, region, or employer size, download our Quick Check Benchmarking Tool.

UBA’s Health Plan Survey analyzes a wide range of health care costs trends. To comprehensively benchmark your exact plan to your peers, contact a UBA Partner near you to run a custom benchmarking report.

For detailed findings from our Health Plan Survey, view the Executive Summary, or download our free highlights.

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