HR Glossary for HR Professionals

Glossary of the most common HR terms and acronyms to assist professionals navigating the ever-growing and ever-changing world of HR terminology.

Monthly Premium

What is a Monthly Premium?

Your monthly premium is the amount you pay per month for coverage in a health plan. If you have employer coverage, your employer may pay all, some, or none of your premium. Individual health insurance consumers pay their own premiums, though the Affordable Care Act created subsidies for certain consumers based on income. Republican replacement proposals keep the subsidy model, but base the credits on age.

Average health insurance premium

Insurance premiums vary widely by state, however, the average monthly insurance premium is $462 or $199 with a subsidy according to Health Markets. Other factors that can increase premium are age, tobacco use, and location.  

Premium vs deductible

Premium is the monthly amount you pay per month for coverage. Deductible is the amount you must pay in full before your health plan kicks in to cover a portion of your medical expenses. If your deductible is $2,000, you will pay all of your medical bills until you hit $2,000. But it’s important to note—that doesn’t mean you stop paying for healthcare after your deductible is met.

Why did insurance premiums increase?

There are several factors that contribute to rising health care costs and all of these factors directly affect you and your monthly premium. Here are some of the biggest reasons your monthly health insurance premiums just keep going up:

  • Medication costs: Your medication costs will always rise, especially as baby boomers reach retirement age. An aging population means there is more demand for medication and these new retirees expect something better for their generation.
  • Medical technology: Hospitals and physicians are relying more and more on new medical technology, such as robotic surgery and other advancements. While these new developments certainly make it easier for doctors to diagnose and heal, they aren’t cheap.
  • Hospital care: Did you know hospitals factor in around six percent of their expenses for patients who can’t pay for service? As a part of their legal obligation, hospitals must provide care, even for patients who can’t afford the procedures. In addition, up to 60% of their admissions are Medicare and Medicaid patients and neither program pays the full amount for the services administered. What does that mean for you, the average hospital user? Higher prices
  • Insurance administration decisions: Sometimes an insurance company pays out more in reimbursements than they expected. If this is the case and many times it is, the health insurance company in question simply requires higher premiums and deductibles for the next year. 
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