For Immediate Release
September 11, 2018

Average Health Care Deductible Nearly $1,500 for Individual Coverage Through an Employer Plan

New Report Examines Health Care Benefits Offered By Employers Across the U.S.

Brookfield, Wisconsin—With open enrollment season here, health insurance—and its costs—are hot topics among employees across the country. A new report released today, Employee Benefits Survey: 2018 Results, examines the health care costs employees can expect to experience this year.

The report, conducted by the nonprofit International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, examines deductibles among workers enrolled in employer-sponsored health care plans. A deductible is the amount of money an employee will pay before his or her insurance coverage starts to help with medical bills. The report found that for employees with deductibles, the average they can expect to pay is $1,491 with single coverage and $2,788 with family coverage.

Looking more closely at the findings, of those who have single coverage health insurance:

  • 7% have no deductible
  • 16% have a deductible under $500
  • 19% have a deductible between $500 and $999
  • 46% have a deductible between $1,000 and $2,999
  • 6% have a deductible between $3,000 and $3,999
  • 6% have a deductible that is $4,000 or higher.

Of those who have family health care coverage:

  • 7% have no deductible
  • 3% have a deductible under $500
  • 11% have a deductible between $500 and $999
  • 29% have a deductible between $1,000 and $2,999
  • 26% have a deductible between $3,000 and $4,999
  • 23% have a deductible of $5,000 or higher.

As expected, deductible amounts vary based on the type of plan an employee is enrolled in. Employees in a more traditional, non-high-deductible plan average deductibles of $932 for single coverage and $1,931 for family coverage. Employees in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) have an average deductible of more than double that of a non-HDHP plan—$2,296 for single coverage and $4,104 for family coverage.

The report also found that the average share of the health care premium paid by an employee—23% for single coverage and 31% for family coverage—is holding steady, with an increase of less than 1% over the previous four years. A premium is the amount paid each month to maintain health care insurance, and the cost is usually shared by the employee and employer.

"Health care open enrollment can be a stressful time for employees. They want to choose the right plan for their situation, but the stakes are high because the choice will have a direct impact on their wallet," explained Julie Stich, CEBS, associate vice president of content at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. "Adding to the stress is the fact that many employees are unfamiliar with the terminology of health insurance, such as deductible, premium and copay."

Employers are offering a wide variety of plan types for employees and often offer more than one type of plan. The most common type is a preferred provider organization (PPO), offered by 73% of employers. High-deductible health plans (HDHP) with a health savings account (HSA) continue to grow in prevalence—59% of employers report they offer an HDHP with an HSA, up from 46% in 2014. Just over a quarter of employers, 26%, offer a health maintenance organization (HMO) plan.

"With nearly three in five employers now offering high-deductible health plans, employees need to take the time to fully understand these types of plans," explained Stich. "HDHPs involve lower premiums but higher deductibles, so individuals need to take a look at both their financial situation and their health needs for the upcoming year in determining which plan is best for them."

About the Survey

Employee Benefits Survey: 2018 Results is the sixth in a series of employee benefits benchmarking surveys conducted by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. The report provides a comprehensive look at the health care, retirement, paid leave and work/life benefits offered by employers across the United States. The data cited above represents single-employer plan sponsors, referred to as corporate employers. For more information, visit


The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans is the premier educational organization dedicated to providing the diverse employee benefits community with objective, solution-oriented education, research and information to ensure the health and financial security of plan beneficiaries worldwide. The International Foundation has more than 33,000 multiemployer, corporate and public sector members representing over 25 million lives. For additional information, visit