Healthcare News & Insights

Pay a lot more, get less: What’s happening to health insurance?

A new report puts hard numbers to just how crunched the average worker is by the rising costs of health insurance. A new report from The Commonwealth Fund shows that health insurance premiums are growing faster than workers’ incomes, those policies are covering less — and employees are footing more of the bill as well.

The report, State Trends in Premiums and Deductibles, 2003-2010, found that 62% of people live in states where health insurance premiums are equal to 20% or more of earnings for a middle income worker under 65.

On average, premiums for an employer-sponsored family plan increased by 50% between 2003 and 2010, to $13,871 annually. Even in the five “lowest-cost” states, premiums ranged between $11,379 and $12,409.

And employers aren’t picking up as much of the cost anymore. Since 2003, the employee-paid portion of health insurance has increased by 63% — far more than incomes have risen, and a higher proportion of the total cost.

But workers aren’t getting more for their money — they’re getting less. According to the report, only 52% of employees had a deductible in 2003; by 2010, it was 74%. And the size of the average per-person deductible has increased by a whopping 98% over the same time period.

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