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Health Insurance Premiums Rise 6.1 Percent in 2007, Less Rapidly Than in Recent Years But Still Faster Than Wages and Inflation
Date:9/11/2007

Annual Premiums for Family Coverage Now Average $12,106, With Workers Paying $3,281

Worker Enrollment in Consumer-Driven Health Plans Remains Modest

WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose an average of 6.1 percent in 2007, less than the 7.7 percent increase reported last year but still higher than the increase in workers' wages (3.7 percent) or the overall inflation rate (2.6 percent), according to the 2007 Employer Health Benefits Survey released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust. Key findings from the survey were also published today in the journal Health Affairs.

The 6.1 percent average increase this year was the slowest rate of premium growth since 1999, when premiums rose 5.3 percent. Since 2001, premiums for family coverage have increased 78 percent, while wages have gone up 19 percent and inflation has gone up 17 percent.

The average premium for family coverage in 2007 is $12,106, and workers on average now pay $3,281 out of their paychecks to cover their share of the cost of a family policy.

"We're seeing some moderation in health-cost increases, but premiums for family coverage now top $12,000 annually," Kaiser President and CEO Drew E. Altman, Ph.D. said. "Every year health insurance becomes less affordable for families and businesses. Over the past six years, the amount families pay out of pocket for their share of premiums has increased by about $1,500."

"The number of options for low wage earners is limited and the greatest burden of all health care costs falls to this segment of the population," said Health Research and Educational Trust President Mary A. Pittman, Dr. P.H. "Although the economy seems to be strong, between 2005 and 2006 the total number of uninsured still rose by 5 percent, including a 9 percent increase in the number of uninsured children."

The annual Kaiser/HRET survey pro
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SOURCE Kaiser Family Foundation; HRET
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