Sept. 28, 2004 – As companies cut health benefits for employees and increase the share employees have to pay for health insurance, a study by Families USA, a Washington-based nonprofit organization advocating for affordable health care, has found that health insurance premiums for families are rising three times faster than worker wages.
Families USA executive director Ron Pollack is quoted in a press statement as saying, "Workers are paying much more in premiums but are receiving less health coverage, wages are being depressed, and millions of people have lost health coverage entirely."
The statement continues: "Family health premiums paid by employers and workers rose from $7,028 in 2000 to $9,320 in 2004. The average amount paid by workers for this coverage rose from $1,433 to $1,947 during that period -- an increase of 35.9 percent."
The cost of health insurance premiums soared 36 percent from 2000 to 2004, while average earnings rose about twelve percent over that same time period. Families USA said it found 85.2 million people went without health insurance for some time during 2003 and 2004