State-by-State Analysis Finds Rapidly Rising Health Insurance Premiums Across the U.S.

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<p>Nationally, family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance increased 119 percent between 1999 and 2008, and they could increase another 94 percent by 2020 if the current pace of cost growth continues, according to a new Commonwealth Fund analysis. </p>
<p>The new data brief, <a href="/publications/publication/2009/aug/paying-price-how-health-insurance-premiums-are-eating-middle">Paying the Price: How Health Insurance Premiums Are Eating Up Middle-Class Incomes,</a> finds that the increase in employer-based premiums for family coverage from 2003 to 2008 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. By 2008, average family premium costs were highest in Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Hampshire—topping out at more than $13,500. Idaho, Iowa, and Hawaii had the lowest average family premiums, around $11,000. </p>
<p>Commonwealth Fund researcher say 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. </p>
<p>"Employers and employees share premium costs, but we know that take-home pay and retirement savings are being sacrificed to maintain health benefits," says Cathy Schoen, the lead author of the analysis and a senior vice president at the Fund. "Reforms that slow the growth of health care costs could go a long way toward health and financial stability for working families." <br /></p>