Report shows Alabama with lowest family insurance premiums

Report shows Alabama with lowest family insurance premiums

By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A new federal report shows Alabama residents pay the lowest average family health insurance premiums in the country.

According to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Alabama’s average annual family health insurance premium for 2019 was $17,734 – the lowest of all 50 states.

Lowest Average Family Health Insurance Premiums

RankStateAverage Annual Premiums
1Alabama$17,734
2Arkansas$17,773
3Mississippii$17,860
4North Dakota$18,720
5Utah$18,674
6Nevada$18,720
7Tennessee$18,748
8Iowa$18,752
9Kansas$18,867
10Louisiana$19,032

Source: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 

The leader of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, the state’s largest health insurance provider, said Alabama’s low costs relative to other states shows efforts to control costs are paying off.

“Taking care of our customers and putting them first remains one of our top priorities. Our company consistently looks for ways to control healthcare costs so we can continue to offer our members quality healthcare coverage at the most affordable price possible,” said Tim Vines, BCBS Alabama president and CEO. “We recognize our members have a choice when it comes to selecting their health insurance carrier, and that is something we do not take for granted.”

Historical data from the survey show Alabama’s premiums have remained below the national average and ranked among the bottom ten nationally for the last ten years.

The survey also shows the average family health insurance premium has increased significantly in the last ten years, both in Alabama and nationally. Alabama’s average family premium was $12,409 in 2010, more than $5,000 lower than the 2019 average. Nationally, the average family premium has increased from $13,871 in 2010 to $20,486 in 2019.

 

Alabama vs. the National Average in Family Health Insurance Premiums

State2010201120122013201420152016201720182019
United States $13,871 $15,022 $15,473 $16,029 $16,655 $17,322 $17,710 $18,687 $19,565 $20,486
Alabama$12,409$12,940$12,764$13,477$14,352$15,953$16,098$16,902$18,00117,734
Ranking5211243381

Source: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 

According to the survey, 57.9% of employers in Alabama offer health insurance and 79.7% of all Alabama workers are employed at establishments that offer insurance and are eligible for the coverage.

Alabama’s average family deductible for those enrolled in private sector health insurance was $3,029 and the average co-payment for a doctor’s visit was $32.