Health care costs for Iowa businesses increased an average of 15.7 percent from last year, according to a survey conducted by a Clive benefits broker and consulting company.
The change marked the fourth consecutive year Iowa businesses saw double-digit increases in health insurance rates, said David Lind, founder and president of David P. Lind & Associates.
The survey of 604 Iowa companies with 20 or more employees had a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. It was conducted in late spring and early summer this year.
Lind's company has measured employee benefit trends for Iowa businesses on a statewide basis since 2000. The results are presented to human resources groups every spring, Lind said.
Most companies in Iowa _ about 83 percent _ offer Preferred Provider Organization medical plans.
Employers paid $321 a month for single coverage this year, a 15 percent increase over last year, and $811 for a family plan, a 12 percent increase, the survey said. Single and family plan costs have increased 65 percent from 2000 rates, Lind said.
The average employee with single coverage paid a premium $53 per month this year, a 3.9 percent increase over last year, while an employee with family coverage paid $276 a month, a 10.9 percent increase over 2003, Lind said.
Since 2000, employee premium contributions for single PPO coverage have increased 36 percent and for family coverage, 58 percent.
Deductibles for employees have gone up 104 percent since 2000 for single coverage and 101 percent for family coverage, the survey said.