Family medical insurance is more expensive than ever for people who get their coverage through employers, which has helped put more people in the market for private policies.
A study announced this week by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the cost of employer-sponsored family premiums rose about 5 percent on average over the past year, which is considered much higher than the rate of inflation.
Employees now pay an average of $3,515 and employers contribute $9,860 for coverage, which has forced many companies, especially small businesses, to scale back or eliminate their health insurance plans altogether.
The study noted that 60 percent of companies surveyed overall provide health benefits to their employees. However, only 46 percent of the smallest firms do so.
In some cases, families can save considerably on private coverage by seeking out policies with higher deductibles and taking advantage of other discount programs from both insurers and their state governments.
With many companies riding out the recession by scaling back these benefits, it makes sense to shop around for the most affordable family medical insurance policy available.