Typical contribution to med benefits in nonprofits?
December 18, 2006 10:36 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find statistics on what percentage of medical premiums are typically paid by employees of nonprofit organizations in the US?

I'm in PA, if that's relevant. My employer has made some very significant changes in required employee contributions for coverage. In explaining/defending the new policy, they have been referring to industry standards.

However, the nonprofit pay scale is significantly lower than the for-profit industry standards, often for equivalent positions; traditionally in the non-profit world, this has been balanced by providing more generous benefits. While I understand that tradition has evolved as nonprofits move toward running a tighter ship, I'd like some numbers.

I'm not looking for inflammatory articles or spin to prove a point...I'd actually like some data so that I can discuss this knowledgeably and rationally later today. (Someone's gotta be the knowledgeable and rational one.)
posted by desuetude to Work & Money (12 answers total)
Section 6 of the Kaiser Family Foundation's Annual Health Benefits Survey deals with employee contributions to medical plan costs. It has the numbers broken down in a bunch of ways and should help you. It doesn't deal specifically with nonprofits vs. for profit companies.

I'm an insurance broker in the northeast and have worked with nonprofits quite a bit. My experience has always been that they've had higher employee contributions (for the same reason that they have low salaries -- not much cash just lying around). If I had to put a number on it, I'd say the typical nonprofit pays between 75-80% of the medical plan costs.
posted by MarkAnd at 11:05 AM on December 18, 2006

It may also be worth asking your employer to share with you (and the other employees) the actual dollar amounts they will be paying towards premiums this year versus the amount paid in years past. Health insurance premiums have gone up significantly, so it may be the case that your employer is paying the same amount or more in actual dollars while paying a smaller percentage of the total premium. Looking at the dollar amounts will help you figure out the dollar value of your total compensation package, which can then be compared to statistics (which I know are available, but I can't remember where I saw them) about total compensation in your industry.
posted by decathecting at 11:14 AM on December 18, 2006

Nonprofits operate the same way as for-profit companies - the people at the top get steady, large, pay increases, while the people at the bottom get zilch.

While I am admittedly not currently employed in the nonprofit world, and you apparently are, my belief is the opposite of yours - to the best of my knowledge, low pay in the non-profit world has always been balanced out by low benefits.(sic) On the other hand, if you work in finance or some similar industry, extremely high pay is often balanced out by providing extremely generous benefits and perks.

Additionally, the "industry standards" argument is meaningless. It means whatever the person saying it wants it to mean. You should mentally translate "We did this because of industry standards" to mean something like "We did this so the executives could get bonuses this year and we figured not too many of you would quit because of it." The executives are also getting pay increases because of "industry standards".

The Bureau of Labor Statistics studies these things. Here's the latest. Across the U.S., the employer pays an average of 82% of the premium for single coverage, and 70% for family coverage (table 11). Tables 9-13 will be interesting to you.
posted by jellicle at 11:15 AM on December 18, 2006

I work for a non-profit, and while I haven't had a raise in...forever, I pay 0% of my medical premiums.
posted by clh at 11:32 AM on December 18, 2006

Maybe this will help?

Average total employee contribution (in dollars) per enrolled employee for single coverage at private-sector establishments that offer health insurance by ownership type* and age of firm and State: United States, 2004:

*(Ownership type = for-profit, incorporated vs for-profit, unincorporated vs nonprofit)

If that's not precisely the info you're looking for, perhaps it will be among these other, related tables.

As an aside, my roommate is in exactly the same boat: she works for a nonprofit, her premium is increasing more than tenfold next year, she mentioned the same payscale/benefits comparison for nonprofits vs. for-profits, and she was given the same "industry standards" defense of the new policy. So either you both work for the same group, or it's a wider-spread trend than just within your organization.
posted by alyxstarr at 12:08 PM on December 18, 2006

Another data point... I work for a non-profit with annual budget between between $100m and $1b, and we pay about 20%.
posted by one_bean at 12:56 PM on December 18, 2006

...and our premium is not going up this year.
posted by one_bean at 12:56 PM on December 18, 2006

Good question, we're going thru this too.

My job pays about 80%, though it's going down this year.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 1:04 PM on December 18, 2006

oh, and our premium and copays are going up, while the actual benefits (coverage) are going down.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 1:04 PM on December 18, 2006

I work for a very large nonprofit with revenues in the hundreds of millions. We pay, for a family plan, about 1/4 of what the org pays for our premium. That's pretty consistent with what I was paying at my previous job, with a much smaller for-profit company (about 1/4 the size), where we paid 1/4 of what the company paid for an employee & spouse policy.
posted by wildeepdotorg at 2:13 PM on December 18, 2006

I work at a national non-profit and we used to pay nothing, but since we had some money troubles the org pays 80%.
posted by jdl at 3:22 PM on December 18, 2006

Data point - I work at a non-profit in the North East that pays my entire premium.
posted by robinpME at 9:12 AM on December 19, 2006

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