family health insurance US

Average family health insurance premiums in the US have fallen for the first time in seven years.

The average premium for a family in the United States in 2012 was $412 per month, a decrease of 0.5 percent from 2011. The results come from the annual report, The Costs and Benefits of Individual and Family Health Insurance, released by eHealth Inc. America’s largest private health insurer.

The report also revealed individuals paid an average of $190 per month on health insurance premiums, an increase of 3.8 percent. The average annual deductible for individually-purchased health insurance plans in 2012 was $3,079 for individuals and $4,079 for families.

The report looks at indivdual and family policies purchased through in 47 states and the District of Columbia. For family coverage, only one state, Montana, showed a double-digit percentage increase in average monthly premiums. Twenty states showed a decrease in monthly premiums for families. New York state had the biggest year-over-year decrease in family premiums, at -15 percent.

Half of all family policyholders paid $352 on average or less for monthly premiums. Costs between the states ranged from the lowest, $269 in Iowa to the highest, $965 in Massachusetts.

Almost all individual and family plan policyholders opted for plans that included lab/X-ray and emergency room coverage. The majority of people also chose plans to cover prescription drugs and chiropractic care.

Other popular optional add-ons included preventative care benefits such as OB/GYN, periodic exams and well baby coverage.