Mixed Outcome on Health Insurance Cost Report

Health insurance premiums paid by businesses for employees rose 6.1 percent last year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust. The good news: that’s less than they’ve risen in recent years. The bad news: premiums are rising at a much faster rate than inflation and wages.

While the 6.1 percent hike is the lowest yearly increase since 1999, it’s still a sobering statistic. Consider these numbers from the report: Health insurance premiums for family coverage have risen 78 percent since 2001, but wages have risen just 19 percent. The skyrocketing costs of health insurance is forcing companies to struggle to continue offering health insurance to employees, something many rely on to attract top employees.

“We’re seeing some moderation in health-cost increases, but premiums for family coverage now top $12,000 annually,” Kaiser President and CEO Drew E. Altman said in a statement. “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.”

Go here to see the full report.

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