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New report: Employer health insurance premiums increased 62 percent from 2003 to 2011
Date:12/11/2012

New York, NY, December 12th, 2012Average premiums for employer-sponsored family health insurance plans rose 62 percent between 2003 and 2011, from $9,249 to $15,022 per year, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report. The report, which tracks state trends in employer health insurance coverage, finds that health insurance costs rose far faster than incomes in all states. Workers are also paying more out-of-pocket as employee payments for their share of health insurance premiums rose by 74 percent on average and deductibles more than doubled, up 117 percent between 2003 and 2011.

The report, State Trends in Premiums and Deductibles, 2003-2011: Eroding Protection and Rising Costs Underscore Need for Action, finds that total health insurance premiums now amount to 20 percent or more of annual median family incomes in 35 states, affecting 80 percent of the U.S. working-age population. States in the South and South-Central U.S. had the highest costs relative to household incomein West Virginia, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Texas, average total health insurance premiums amounted to more than 25 percent of median incomes.

"Wherever you live in the United States, health insurance is expensive, and for many middle- as well as low-income families it is becoming ever less affordable," said Commonwealth Fund senior vice president Cathy Schoen, lead author of the report. "Workers are paying more for less financial protection when they get sick. The steady increase in health care costs over the past decade underscores the urgent need to build on the groundwork laid by the Affordable Care Act to slow the growth in private insurance costs."

In 2011, average annual premiums for family plans ranged from about $12,400 to $13,500 in the lowest-cost states (Arkansas, Alabama, Iowa, Tennessee, Idaho, Mississippi, Utah, and North Dakota), to more than $15,000 a year in 21 states. Premiums averaged from $16,000 to nearly $17,000 in Delaware, Alaska, Co
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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