Aug. 17, 2006 – While the number of employees without health insurance has been rising, the number of insured employees forced to pay of out-of-pocket healthcare expenses has also increased, according to a progressive think tank.
In 2005, 76 percent of employees at private companies paid insurance premiums, up from 54 percent in 1993, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute. Workers are also paying for a greater percentage of their coverage. Last year, employees footed an average of 22 percent of their health insurance bill, compared to 14 percent in 1993.
The average cost of health insurance premiums also increased, by an average of 9.2 percent in 2005, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which studies healthcare issues. In the previous four years, premiums experienced growth of 10 percent or more. But Kaiser reported that the rise in premium costs was three times the growth in workersâ€™ earnings and two-and-a-half times the rate of inflation.
The average worker paid $2,713 toward premiums for family coverage in 2005. As previously reported in The NewStandard, rising healthcare costs, along with competition between companies to raise profits, has made employers increasingly reluctant to provide coverage for their workers.