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Employers' health care costs per employee in the U.S. 2015-2020

In the U.S. many employers pay a portion of health care costs for employees. As of 2019, the total annual medical costs for employees was just over 13 thousand U.S. dollars. That cost is expected to increase to 13.7 thousand U.S. dollars by 2020. There have been recent changes to employer-offered health care through the Affordable Care Act that requires employers with over 50 employees to offer affordable health care options to their employees.

U.S. health benefits at work

In the United States, both employers and employees may pay health care costs, depending on the work. In a recent survey U.S. residents were asked what benefits they expected from their employers, a vast majority of them said that they expect health care benefits. Despite the demand from employer-sponsored healthcare coverage, not all companies feel that they would be able to offer health coverage as an employment benefit. Another recent survey has illustrated that employer confidence in offering health insurance can change dramatically from year-to-year.

U.S. sick leave benefits

Another aspect of workplace health and wellness, is annual sick leave. In general, a majority of U.S. workers have access to a fixed number of paid sick days per year. However, a very small proportion of employees had access to paid sick leave as needed. As of 2017, around half of all employees utilized up to 5 days of sick leave per year. Despite that, there was still a large proportion, especially among those aged 18-30 years that went to work even though they were ill.

Employers' total annual health care costs per active employee in the U.S. from 2015 to 2020

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Release date

April 2020


United States

Survey time period

2015 to 2020

Number of respondents

610 respondents

Special properties

U.S. employers with at least 100 employees

Supplementary notes

Respondents collectively employ 11.3 million full-time employees and operate in all major industry sectors.
* Expected.

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Statistics on "Workplace health and wellness in the U.S."

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