By Stacy Lipson
Posting in Technology
According to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, health insurance premiums are up to 9%.
Employers who pay for health insurance may be in for a long struggle. According to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, health insurance premiums are up to 9%.
Reed Abelson at The New York Times reports:
A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit research group that tracks employer-sponsored health insurance on a yearly basis, shows that the average annual premium for family coverage through an employer reached $15,073 in 2011, an increase of 9 percent over the previous year.
"This year’s nine percent increase in premiums is especially painful for workers and employers struggling through a weak recovery," CEO Drew Altman, Ph.D. said in a statement.
By the numbers
- The cost for annual premiums is up to $15,073 for families who use coverage through an employer.
- Employees are contributing almost $4,129 towards plans covered by their employer.
To learn more about this report, visit the original report here.
Image: screenshot of Kaiser Family Report
Main image: Flickr via Mike Licht
Sep 28, 2011
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The CBO said the proposed health care law would do NOTHING to slow the rise in health care costs. The CBO also predicted it might actually accelerate the climb in costs.
A lot of the increase can be attributed to the ACA and it anticipated effects. Employers now have to pay for children up to age 26, for example. The areas of health care that have to be covered has also been widened. That costs. It's why well over a thousand self-insured companies asked for and were granted temporary waivers from parts of the ACA that are already in effect. Most health insurance companies also anticipate that in 2014 when the ACA fully kicks in, health care premium increases will be completely controlled by the government. To be perfectly blunt, they're raising premiums while they can. To quote the summary report referred to in the article, "The 9% growth rate in family premiums for 2011 is significantly higher than the 3% growth rate in 2010." That's mainly because of the ACA and its anticipated effects.
We have been watching for years how health insurance created expensive health care in the first place. Now millions have no way of affording it; and if they could they find deductibles and co-pays, big pharma et al will still bankrupt their families. That is why smart folks with hearts support Single Payer (polls show 60% or more Americans wanted that approach before Obama Care.
9% is nothing. Mine just went up 14%. The ultimate goal has always been to implement a "single payer" system like Canada or the British NHS. ObamaCare was designed specifically to wreck what was left of the private system so that we'd all be driven to a nationalized system out of sheer desperation. It won't be long now.
Among those "companies" getting waivers were lots of unions. The SEIU cut off benefits to thousands of children because of rising cost imposed by Obamacare. They denied Obamacare was at fault, but facts are facts. They cut the benefits until they received a waiver. http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2010/11/20/union-drops-health-coverage-for-workers-children/
Yes, much of the recent increase can be attributed to the ACA and the inevitable costs that will be imposed upon the carriers, like accepting those with pre-existing conditions and the new "free" benefits that are being added monthly. But the cost of care has been going up uncontrollably long before this. As a self-employed individual, I have been purchasing my own health insurance and care for my entire adult life. I have watched my insurance premiums go up roughly 300% in the last decade alone; most of that long before anyone knew who Obama was. At the current rate of increase, I expect my family's health insurance cost to eclipse my house payment before the end of the decade.
The biggest problem with the way we purchase health care is that most Americans are not the "customer". Their employer, who actually is purchasing the employee's insurance on their behalf is. Most consumers of health care do not know the actual cost of that care, nor do they care. They are happy to remain ignorant of what things actually cost. Wouldn't it be wonderful as a consumer to be able to consume other things in this manner? That "polls show 60% or more Americans wanted that approach before Obama Care." just demonstrates the reality that they are really part of the problem. They all want to believe that someone else will be paying for it. Personally, "single payer" will be great for me. After my house payment, health care is my largest monthly expense. And of course, under "single payer" the income taxes I pay will go ballistic as the payment paradigm shifts from me paying an insurance company and to individual vendors for care to the state. So once I get my house paid off, I can retire early. I'll no longer have a house payment, health care, or income taxes to pay anymore. It will be up to the rest of you schlubs to work to pay for my health care. I doubt I'll be alone in figuring that out. Exactly how viable of an economy will we have then?
This report covers employer health costs only. In other words, the only people seeing these particular health care increases are people employed by these companies, and presumably better able to pay for their health insurance. If the average employee at these companies couldn't afford the premiums and co-pays, these companies would have a revolt on their hands. There would be no point in offering these plans in the first place since they wouldn't attract employees. If you can't afford to pay for health care, you still get free health care at ERs. If you are on Medicare and Medicaid, your costs are still covered. In fact, one of the reasons employer-sponsored health care has gone up is because doctors and hospitals shift costs from these sources to employers.
The health care system was failing before the new health care bill. The problem is that the new health care was a compromise that could pass and was immediately challenged. Neither system will work to reduce health care premiums.
Hmm, where have you been for the past 2 years. The new health care bill, was passed on mostly party lines and was NOT a compromise. Remember, Nancy Pelosi said that they had to pass it before she would let anyone SEE what was in the bill they were voting for. The majority of what was supposed to be changed as a "compromise", turned out NOT to have been. This cost several people who sold out for "compromise" their seats.
But few are interested in the real reasons why. And until those reasons can be answered honestly, there will be no better system.
Because the honest reality is that what most people want is someone else to pay for their health care. Most people don't have a clue as to how much it really costs, and they really don't want to know. But they do know that it's not cheap, and would just assume that someone else be made to pay for it. And the politicians have done well exploiting that fact.
Honesty is a bit much to ask from politicians. All I expect from either side is spin, lies and statistics. It is a lousy choice to choose between 2 failing plans that do nothing to keep medical costs low enough to stabilize premiums.