M3 Insurance releases 2023 Health Care trends, reports health benefit plan premium increase 

M3 Insurance recently released its 20th annual Health Care Trend Report, which examines health benefit plans and demonstrates actual trends in the market. The report contains data collected from M3 clients across the spectrum of employer sizes, regional markets, and sectors and provides an overview of cost, trends, and how plans are designed.

In 2023, health benefit plan premiums grew at an overall rate of 7.1%, slightly higher than the historical norm of 6.6% since the report began in 2004 and the highest rate of change since 2017, which saw 7.7%. This trend appears to be the result of multiple factors, notably inflationary factors on medical costs and the effects of deferred medical care during the pandemic.

The overall annual average cost per employee increased to $15,290 in 2023, an increase from $14,624 the previous year. The total cost per employee can vary depending on several factors, with the participation of dependent and spousal coverage being the largest non-trend factor.

The south-central market centered in Madison experienced an overall increase of 7.0%, which is up from a 6.4% change rate in 2022. The average cost of $14,879 represents an increase from $14,146 the previous year.

The full report is available online.