Cathy Schoen, Kristof Stremikis, Sabrina K. H. How, Sara R. Collins
Rapidly rising health insurance costs have strained U.S. families and employers in recent years. This issue brief examines data for all states on changes in private employer premiums and deductibles for 2003 and 2009. The analysis finds that premiums for businesses and their employees increased 41 percent across states from 2003 to 2009, while per-person deductibles jumped 77 percent in large as well as small firms. If these trends continue at the rate prior to enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the average premium for family coverage will rise 79 percent by 2020, to more than $23,000. The authors describe how health reform offers the potential to reduce insurance cost growth while improving value and protection. If reforms succeed in slowing premium growth by 1 percentage point annually in all states, by 2020 employers and families together will save $2,323 annually for family coverage, compared with projected trends.