US Health Insurance Premiums Treble in 2011, Outgrow Wage Increases, Says Kaiser Study

by Lakshmi Gopal on  September 28, 2011 at 12:34 AM Health Insurance News
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In the US, annual family premiums this year in the health insurance category have grown three times the pace they had in 2010. A survey published by the Kaiser Family Foundation's annual study on Tuesday was reported by Reuters.
 US Health Insurance Premiums Treble in 2011, Outgrow Wage Increases, Says Kaiser Study
US Health Insurance Premiums Treble in 2011, Outgrow Wage Increases, Says Kaiser Study

The study also found that health insurance premiums are outgrowing wage increases.

With the nation continuing to grapple with a stubbornly weak economy, family premiums in employer-sponsored health plans jumped 9 per cent this year and single premiums rose 8 per cent, compared with 3 per cent and 5 per cent in 2010.

U.S. health insurance, unlike other industrialized countries, is largely provided by employers.

Although the latest Census found more Americans losing company-sponsored insurance, almost 170 million Americans were on employer-based plans in 2010.

Kaiser and the Health Research Educational Trust surveyed 2,088 randomly selected public and private employers large and small earlier this year.

The survey found that, on average, employees are contributing 28 per cent, or about $4,129, a year toward employer-sponsored family plans. That is 131 per cent more than a decade ago.

Including employers' contributions, the overall premium has increased 113 per cent since 2001 to $15,073 a year.

More workers, especially in smaller firms, continue to join high-deductible health plans. Thirty-one per cent of covered employees this year have to pay at least $1,000 in single plans before coverage kicks in, up from 27 per cent last year.

The survey also highlighted some early results of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform. Under one of the few provisions already in effect, people under the age of 26 are now allowed to remain covered by their parents' insurance plans to curb historically high uninsured rates in that age group.

The Kaiser survey estimated that U.S. companies have added 2.3 million young adults to their parents' family health policies.

Source: Medindia

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