The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Health Insurance More Expensive, Less Utilized

by Brendan Coyne

Sept. 16, 2005 – Employer-subsidized health insurance rates have been climbing at dizzying rates since 2000, tripling the average pay rate increase and topping inflation more than two times over, according health coverage study. In addition, the survey of employer-based health coverage practices and trends found that fewer employers, especially small businesses, are offering insurance to employees.

Conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Health Research & Educational Trust, the report is widely accepted as one of the most comprehensive and accurate means of measuring the well-being of the nation’s health care system. This year’s release follows a string of other studies pointing to insurance industry over-charges and misrepresentations.

According to the Kaiser study, while the rate of inflation rose by 3.5 percent and that of wages grew by 2.7 percent from 2004 to 2005, health insurance premium rates spiked up by an average of 9.2 percent for the same time period.

The rate hike pushed costs past the earnings of a full-time minimum-wage worker, the survey found. Additionally, the report noted that a fifth of all employer-sponsored programs offer high-deductible plans, those which call for a $1,000 or greater out-of-pocket pay-out before insurer coverage even kicks in.

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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Brendan Coyne is a contributing journalist.

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