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A Look at 2023 Health Coverage Trends

Report reflects cost changes, inadequate behavioral health networks, abortion coverage post-Dobbs

October 23, 2023

Annual single and family premiums for employer-sponsored health coverage rose about 7 percent on average during 2023, according to a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

The KFF’s annual report offers an overview in trends for employer-sponsored coverage related to cost-sharing, behavioral health access, wellness programs, and telehealth. Overall, the average covered worker contributed $1,401 for their single premium and $6,575 for family premium coverage during 2023, the report notes.

The report also relayed concerns about coverage for behavioral health and adequate networks for care.

“For several years now, the survey has shown that many large employers do not believe that their networks have enough mental health providers to provide timely access to care,” said Gary Claxton, a KFF senior vice president and director of the Health Care Marketplace Project. “In 2023, many large employers, including nearly half of the largest employers, say that they are taking steps to better meet enrollees’ needs.”

Here are five things to know:

  • By type:  About 47 percent of covered workers are enrolled in a PPO. The next two most common coverage options are high-deductible plans with a savings option (29%), and HMOs (13%).
  • Worker premium share:  Covered workers contribute 17 percent of the total premium cost for single coverage and 29 percent of the total cost for a family premium, similar to 2022 rates.
  • Provider networks:  Nearly 88 percent of large employers say they have enough primary care doctors to ensure access to care, but less than 60 percent say they have enough for mental health and substance use disorder networks.
  • Dental, vision trends:   About 91 percent of firms offering health benefits offer separate dental coverage. That’s nearly double the rate from 2010 (46%).
    • About 82 percent offer vision coverage, compared to 2010 (17%).
  • Quotable:  “The sufficiency of mental health providers in plan networks remains a concern for employers in 2023, with only 59 (percent) of large employers offering health benefits believing that there are a sufficient number of behavioral health providers in their plan’s network to provide timely access to services for workers and their family members,” the report notes.

The report also highlights changes in abortion coverage following the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision ending the federal constitutional right to abortion. About 32 percent of large firms said they cover legal abortions in most or all circumstances, the survey notes.

The summary was conducted this year from January through July and included 2,133 randomly selected non-federal public and private firms with three or more employees.

The full report and a summary of its key findings are available online.