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Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums projected to double by 2020
Date:8/20/2009

August 20, 2009, New York, NY Nationally, family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance increased 119 percent between 1999 and 2008, and could increase another 94 percent to an average $23,842 per family by 2020 if cost growth continues on its current course, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report.

The report, Paying the Price: How Health Insurance Premiums Are Eating Up Middle Class Incomes, State Health Insurance Premium Trends And The Potential Of National Reforms, finds that national reforms that slow health care cost increases by 1 to 1.5 percent per year would yield substantial savings for families and businesses across the country. By 2020, slowing the annual rate of growth by 1 percent would yield more than $2,500 in reduced premiums for family coverage, and slowing growth by 1.5 percent would yield more than $3,700 in premium savings compared to projected trends.

"With health spending projected to double if we stay on our current path, middle and lower income families are at high risk of losing their coverage or facing long-term stagnant incomes," said report lead-author and Commonwealth Fund Senior Vice President Cathy Schoen. "Employers and employees share premium costs but we know that take home pay and retirement savings are being sacrificed to maintain health benefits. Reforms that slow the growth of health care costs could go a long way toward health and financial stability for working families."

According to the report's state-by-state analysis, the five-year increase (2003 to 2008) in employer-based premiums for family coverage averaged 33 percent, ranging from a high of 45 percent in Indiana and North Carolina to an average low of 25 percent in Michigan, Texas, and Ohio. Most states saw increases of 30 percent to 40 percent. By 2008, average family premium costs were highest in Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Hampshiretopping out at more than $13,500. Idaho, Iowa, and Hawaii had the
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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