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New report: Employer health insurance premiums increased 41 percent from 2003 to 2009
Date:12/2/2010

December 2, 2010, New York, New YorkPremiums for employer-sponsored family health insurance increased an average of 41 percent across states from 2003 to 2009, more than three times faster than median incomes, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report. Yet, insurance is buying less. The report found that deductibles per person rose 77 percent, on average. Higher premiums plus higher out-of-pocket costs are putting working families' budgets under stress across the country.

The report, State Trends in Premiums and Deductibles, 2003�: How Building on the Affordable Care Act Will Help Stem the Tide of Rising Costs and Eroding Benefits, presents a state-by-state analysis of private employer health insurance costs for the six years before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, and projects premiums in 2020 if these historic increases continue. The analysis finds that if premium costs continue to rise at the pace seen from 2003 to 2009, annual premiums would increase by 79 percent, reaching an average of $23,342 per family by 2020.

"Whether you live in Montana, Texas, or New York, private insurance costs have been increasing faster than working family incomes," said Commonwealth Fund Senior Vice President Cathy Schoen, lead author of the study. "For more than a decade, families with job-based insurance have been sacrificing wages to hold on to health insurance. The good news is that the Affordable Care Act reforms provide a foundation to improve coverage and slow health care cost growth in the future."

The report summarizes ACA provisionsinsurance, payment incentives, and delivery system reformsthat have the potential to slow the rate of cost growth if successfully tested and adopted by private and public payers. According to the report, if reforms slow historic premium increases by one percentage point per year, annual family premiums would be $2,323 lower by 2020. Slowing premium growth by 1.5 percentage points per year would y
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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