Friday, August 21, 2009

Since 2000, Cost of Health Care Premiums is Up Significantly

A report released yesterday from Families USA found that since 2000 the cost of premiums to employers and individuals has risen significantly more than the increase in median income in Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania, Families USA found that:
  • From 2000 to 2009, the average price of a family health insurance premium purchased by an employer rose from $6,721 to $13,116.
    • The average amount employers paid towards premiums grew by $4,531, to $9,955, or 83.5 percent.
    • The average amount workers paid towards premiums rose 143.7 percent, from $1,297 to $3,161.
  • The price of a premium for an individual climbed 93.9 percent, from $2,467 in 2000 to $4,782 in 2009.
    • The employer share of an individual premium went up to $3,879 from $2,094, an 85.2 percent increase.
    • The employee's share grew 142 percent, from $373 to $904.

The higher prices have also made it more difficult for people to get insurance through their employers. Last year, 63 percent of U.S. companies offered health insurance to employees, down from 69 percent in 2000.

The report found that the higher prices are the result of the rising cost and increased use of medical treatments, inadequate oversight of insurance companies, lack of competition among insurers in many markets, and cost-shifting from the growing numbers of uninsured to the insured.

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