A report released yesterday crunches some numbers to confirm what most of us already probably knew: The cost of our health insurance is going up much faster than our pay.
According to Families USA, a Washington nonprofit group that advocates for affordable health care, between 2000 and 2009 the cost of a family premium provided by an employer increased 95.2 percent while median income went up just 17.5 percent. To make matters more galling, workers get fewer benefits plus higher deductibles and co-pays for the extra money.
The organization blamed the higher prices on the rising cost and increased use of medical treatments, inadequate oversight of insurance companies, lack of competition among insurers in many markets, and cost-shifting from the growing numbers of uninsured to the insured.
The higher prices have also made it more difficult for people to get insurance through their jobs. Nationally, 63 percent of U.S. companies offered health insurance to employees in 2008. That is down from 69 percent in 2000.
Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, said his group was generally "supportive of what the White House is trying to do" and of Democratic plans for health care.
In Pennsylvania, Families USA found that:
From 2000 to 2009, the average price of a family health insurance premium purchased by an employer rose from $6,721 to $13,116.
The employer share of that premium grew by $4,531, to $9,955, or 83.5 percent.
The average worker's share rose 143.7 percent, from $1,297 to $3,161.
The price of a premium for an individual climbed 93.9 percent, from $2,467 in 2000 to $4,782 in 2009.
The employer share of an individual premium went up to $3,879 from $2,094, an 85.2 percent increase.
The employee's share grew 142 percent, from $373 to $904.
Median earnings for Pennsylvania rose from $24,834 to $29,188 between 2000 and 2009.