Employer-sponsored healthcare premiums could double in 10 years

A recent report produced by the Commonwealth Fund found that over the past decade, insurance premiums have been growing much more quickly than income in the United States, so much so that employer-sponsored health coverage for families increased by 119 percent between 1999 and 2008. An even scarier finding: The report determined that rates could jump by 94 percent in the coming decade--to $23,842 per family.

The states with the highest premium costs for families--just over $13,500--included Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New Hampshire. Idaho, Iowa and Hawaii were all at the lower end of the spectrum, averaging roughly an $11,000 cost per family.

The report found that currently, 18 states have premium rates that are equal to or greater than 18 percent of the average income for a household. "These rapid premium increases aren't sustainable for families or employers," said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. "If we craft patient-centered reform that focuses on improving quality and efficiency and bending the cost curve, the insured in every state stand to benefit."

Cathy Schoen, the Fund's senior vice president, echoed those statements.

"With health spending projected to double if we stay on our current path, middle and lower income families are at high risk of losing their coverage or facing long-term stagnant incomes," she said.

To learn more:
- read this Healthcare Finance News article