Direct Spending on Healthcare
A single person in worse health with a $20,000 income and employer coverage spends $3,550 per year (18% of their income) on health. This includes $1,400 (7% of their income) in out-of-pocket health spending, $1,250 (6% of their income) in health insurance premiums, and approximately $900 (5% of their income) in state and federal taxes that fund health programs.
Additional Contributions by Employers
Workers are not taxed on the contributions their employers make toward health insurance premiums. Economists generally believe that employer contributions offset wages. In this scenario, we estimate that the employer is contributing an additional $5,500 to health insurance premiums, as well as $300 in Medicare payroll taxes. These amounts are not shown in the chart above, but economists generally believe that they offset wages.
When combined, this person’s spending on health care and the money spent by their employer on their behalf totals $9,350.
The Peterson Center on Healthcare and KFF are partnering to monitor how well the U.S. healthcare system is performing in terms of quality and cost.