Premiums for employer health insurance in California jumped 170% over the last decade, more than five times the 32% increase in the state's inflation rate.
That escalation in premiums has taken a toll on employers' willingness to offer health benefits, according to an annual survey by the California HealthCare Foundation.
The report found that 60% of California firms offered health benefits last year, down from 73% three years ago.
As costs keep climbing, many businesses are asking workers to contribute more toward their health insurance or accept fewer benefits. More than a third of the firms surveyed said they are likely to increase workers' share of premiums in the next year, and 24% plan to raise employees' deductibles.
Twenty-six percent of workers at small firms had an annual deductible of $1,000 or more for single coverage in 2012, according to the survey by the Oakland nonprofit group. That was up from 7% of workers in 2006.
One silver lining for California employers was that their health insurance premiums increased only 6.4% last year, down from 8.1% the previous two years.