Health Care Premium Hikes in California Outpace U.S. Average
From 2000 to 2007, California employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rose five times faster than pay, according to a study released Wednesday by Families USA, the Stockton Record reports (Goldeen, Stockton Record, 10/16).
The report, entitled "Premiums Versus Paychecks," analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Department of Labor and HHS.
The study found that average annual premiums for employer-sponsored group health insurance plans increased to $12,194 in 2007, up 95.8% from an average of $6,227 in 2000 (Bohan, Bay Area News Group/San Jose Mercury News, 10/15).
Over the same time period, median earnings for California workers increased by 19.3% from $25,740 to $30,702.
By comparison, health insurance premiums rose by 78% nationally over the same period, although earnings nationwide increased by only 14.5% (Calvan, Sacramento Bee, 10/16).
For family coverage from 2000 to 2007, the study found that:
- Employers' annual contribution to premiums increased by 90.9% to $8,938; and
- Workers' contribution jumped by 110.8% to $3,256 in 2007.
For individual coverage over the same time period, the study found that:
- Employers' contributions to premiums rose by 78.1% to $3,584; and
- Workers' contribution increased by 98.1% to $698 (Stockton Record, 10/16).
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, said the study's findings help build the case for health care reform.Â "Part of the reason this data forces systemwide reform is because these are the only reforms that are going to make a difference," Wright said.
At the same press conference, Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) said the findings will build support for health care reform among members of Congress, adding, "We want to make sure we reform our system before it gets any worse" (Bay Area News Group/San Jose Mercury News, 10/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.