• Tuesday, December 18, 2012RSS Feed

    Health Plan Premiums and Deductibles Soar From 2003-2011

    Average premiums for employer-sponsored family health insurance plans rose 62% 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 also are paying more out-of-pocket as employee payments for their share of health insurance premiums and deductibles have more than doubled.

    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% or more of annual median family incomes in 35 states, affecting 80% of the US working-age population.

    In 2011, average annual premiums for family plans ranged from about $12,400 to $13,500 in the lowest-cost states to more than $15,000 a year in 21 states. Premiums averaged from $16,000 to nearly $17,000 in Delaware, Alaska, Connecticut, Vermont, New York, the District of Columbia, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, which have the highest average family premiums.

    While average family premiums jumped an average of 62% from 2003 to 2011, median family income rose just about 11%. The increase in premiums ranged from 42% in the lowest-growth state, Tennessee, to 76% in the highest-growth state, New York. Twenty-seven states had increases of 60% or more.

    The report also finds that employees' premium shares grew. The average annual amount an employee paid toward a family health insurance plan rose from $2,283 in 2003 to $3,962 in 2011—a 74% increase.

    Deductibles more than doubled from 2003 to 2011, increasing an average of 117% per person during the 8 years the report studied. In 2011, 78% of workers faced deductibles, up from 52% in 2003. Workers in small firms with fewer than 50 employees typically face higher deductibles than those working for larger firms.

    If historical trends continue, family premiums will reach $24,740 by 2020, an increase of 65% from 2011, says the report.

    The report and an interactive map featuring premiums in each state are available on The Commonwealth Fund's website.


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