Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The Kaiser Family Foundation provided their annual update on the cost of health insurance and the findings were rather grim, particularly during a time when prices are supposed to be falling. This USA Today report provides the details.
The average cost of a family policy offered by employers was $13,375 this year, up 5% from 2008, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust survey found. By comparison, wages rose 3% over that period, the study said.Interestingly, according to this morning's report on consumer prices, the Labor Department puts the year-over-year increase in medical costs at only 3.3 percent.
Since 1999, health insurance premiums for families rose 131%, the report found, far more than the general rate of inflation, which increased 28% over the same period. Overall, health care in the United States is expected to cost $2.6 trillion this year, or 17% of the nation's economy, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
As insurance costs increase, workers are also picking up a larger share, the survey found. The average employee with family coverage paid 26% of the premium, the study found, but 41% of companies said they are "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to increase the amount employees pay for coverage in the next year.