Insurance premiums up 41 percent in 6 yrs

Dec. 2, 2010 at 2:01 AM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- The cost of employer-sponsored family health insurance increased an average of 41 percent across all U.S. states from 2003 to 2009, a non-profit group says.

A report by the Commonwealth Fund in New York found deductibles per person rose 77 percent, on average, and the combination of higher premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs are putting working families' budgets under stress across the country.

The report is a state-by-state analysis of private employer health insurance costs for the six years before the Affordable Care Act was passed this year and projects premiums in 2020 if these historic increases continue.

The analysis of state trends from 2003 to 2009 finds that employer-based premium increases ranged from a 21 percent increase in Delaware to a 59 percent increase in Louisiana.

By 2009, healthcare premiums were highest in Alaska, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming, with family premiums in those states exceeding $14,000 a year. Annual family premiums in the lowest-cost states -- Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Utah -- ranged from $11,000 to $12,000 per year by 2009.

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