Study: Premium Costs in Job-Based Insurance Up by 41% Since 2003
Employer-sponsored family health insurance premiums have increased by an average of 41% from 2003 to 2009, more than three times faster than median incomes, according to a study released on Thursday by the Commonwealth Fund, the Washington Post reports.
The national average for employer-sponsored family premiums -- which includes the amounts paid by employers and employees -- was $13,027. Deductibles rose by an average of 77% from 2003 to 2009, the report found. In addition, the report found that 74% of workers had to pay deductibles in 2009, compared with 52% in 2003.
Health care costs seemed to be somewhat costlier in higher-income areas, according to Cathy Schoen, one of the report's authors. According to the report, coverage costs tend to vary by prices charged by doctors, hospitals and laboratories. Locations with the most expensive premiums were Alaska, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Reform Law Has Potential To Slow Cost Growth
The report noted that the federal health reform law has the potential to slow cost growth by giving states the ability to challenge excessive premium increases and by providing assistance to low- and middle-income families. However, industry analysts say that figuring out how the law will directly affect costs and premiums is the one of the trickiest issues surrounding the law's implementation (Sun, Washington Post, 12/2).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.