FamsUSA Report: MA Premiums Rose 6.4X Faster than Earnings — ’00 to ’06

New report out yesterday from FamiliesUSA — click here to get full report. Here are press release excerpts:

Health care premiums rose an estimated 6.4 times faster than earnings for MA working families from 2000 to 2006. In that six-year period, health care premiums rose by 69.2 percent, while median earnings rose by only 10.7 percent. Among the key findings:

For family health coverage provided through the MA workplace, annual health insurance premiums in the 2000-2006 period rose from $7,341 to $12,419—an increase of $5,078, or 69.2 percent. Between 2000 and 2006, the median earnings of Massachusetts’s workers increased from $30,964 to $34,292, or 10.7 percent.

…the disproportionately high increases in insurance premiums occurred despite the provision of “thinner coverage” to workers—coverage that offers fewer benefits and/or that comes with higher deductibles, copayments, and co-insurance. As a result, Massachusetts families are paying more but receiving less health care coverage.

“Massachusetts families have been hit hard in the pocketbooks due to skyrocketing health costs and stagnant wages,” said Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA. “As a result, Bay Staters are paying much larger portions of their paychecks on health care, and health care is becoming less and less affordable.”

The key findings in the report provide data concerning premiums for family health coverage as well as individual coverage. They also break out the premium costs paid by employers and those paid by employees. The key findings include: For family health coverage in Massachusetts, the employer’s portion of annual premiums in the 2000-2006 period rose from $5,829 to $9,140, an increase of 56.8 percent. For family health coverage, the worker’s portion of annual premiums rose from $1,512 to $3,279, an increase of 116.8 percent. For individual health coverage, the employer’s portion of annual premiums rose from $2,183 to $3,829, an increase of 75.4 percent. For individual health coverage, the worker’s portion of annual premiums rose from $536 to $1,043, an increase of 94.6 percent. …

The Families USA report is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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