Wednesday, September 12, 2007

US Employer Health Premiums Up 6.1 Per Cent

Employer sponsored health insurance premiums in the US went up on average by 6.1 per cent in 2007 compared to 2006, outstripping workers' pay (rose by 3.7 per cent on average) and overall inflation (up by 2.6 per cent).

These are the key findings of the 2007 Employer Health Benefits Survey announced this week by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust. A version of the report is published in the September/October issue of the journal Health Affairs.

The average health insurance premium for a family now amounts to 12,106 dollars a year, with workers on average paying 3,281 dollars.

Dr Drew E Altman, President and CEO of Kaiser said while there was evidence of some "moderation" in the increases (this latest figure is an eight year low in the rate of increase) there was still no cause to celebrate:

"Every year health insurance becomes less affordable for families and businesses. Over the past six years, the amount families pay out of pocket for their share of premiums has increased by about 1,500 dollars."

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