The State Worker

Jon Ortiz chronicles civil-service life for California state workers

Study examines spending by California, other states on employee health benefits

08/12/2014 1:21 PM

08/12/2014 1:22 PM

States spent nearly $31 billion to provide health coverage to 2.7 million employee households in 2013, a small increase from the previous two years, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis released Tuesday by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the MacArthur Foundation.

States’ total health premiums and related costs trailed only Medicaid, the government-run healthcare program for the poor, as a share of total health care spending, according to the study.

In California, the average total premium per employee was $1,092, more than Texas ($713) and Florida ($958), but less than New York ($1,106) and New Jersey ($1,334). Nationwide, the average premium came in at $963.

The average employer premium contribution was 77 percent in California and 84 percent nationally.

The 45-page analysis noted that enrollees in state and municipal government plans were older than their private-sector counterparts. One reason for this is that public-sector employees tend to stay in their jobs longer.

The report also takes a deeper look at how decision-makers across the states are pursuing policy changes to reduce health care costs without harming their employees. A copy of the full analysis, including links to the data and the charts, is available here.

About This Blog

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at or 916-321-1043. Twitter: @TheStateWorker.


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