Premium Rates Rise Faster Than Income
Insurance premiums have risen by 73.8% from 2000 to 2006, while the U.S. median income has increased 11.6% during that same period, according to a study released Tuesday by Families USA, the Helena Independent Record reports (Harrington, Helena Independent Record, 10/18). Nationally, insurance premiums have increased 6.4 times faster than median earnings, Families USA found (AP/Oxford Press, 10/17).
The study, based on data from Census Bureau, the Department of Labor and HHS, also found that between 2000 and 2005, the number of uninsured U.S. residents increased while the number covered by employer-sponsored insurance declined.
Though the findings indicate the slowest increase in premiums since 1999, it is still more than twice the rate of inflation (Jalonick, AP/Billings Gazette, 10/17).
John McAlearney of Wright State University's Boonshoft School of Medicine said that increases in health care premiums are "definitely going to continue" as costly improvements in medical technology, drugs and procedures are developed (Gottschlich, Dayton Daily News, 10/18).