Health Insurance Premiums Soar

Costs outpace wage hikes for 8 years running
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Sep 12, 2007 1:19 AM CDT
Hospital   ((c) Daquella manera)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Health insurance premiums zoomed 6.1% this year, far outrunning inflation and worker earnings, a new study has found. Since 2001, premiums for family coverage have risen 78% percent, while wages have increased by only 19% and inflation by 17%, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey shows. Still, this year's hike is the smallest in eight years.

US companies are worried that premium costs are hampering their ability to compete internationally, Bloomberg reports. The average family plan now costs $12,106, (just $62 less than the annual salary of a full-time minimum wage worker), with companies covering about two-thirds of the price. To compensate for the increases, companies will likely require workers to cover more of the costs.