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May 05, 2008
Healthcare Premiums Rise Much Quicker than Pay

Americans who get employer-based health insurance for their families saw their premiums increase 10 times faster than their income from 2001 to 2005, according to a analysis of government data by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center at the University of Minnesota.

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The study, released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, shows that a growing share of workers' earnings is being absorbed by the increasing cost of health insurance. 

Nationwide, the amount employees pay for family coverage increased 30 percent from 2001 to 2005, while family policyholders' income increased just 3 percent over the same period.

While the proportion of insurance premiums that workers pay for family coverage has remained constant over the years, the dollar amount that workers contribute has substantially increased.

The amount that workers pay for premiums for family coverage, on average, increased from $1,921 in 2001 to $2,585 in 2005. Nationally, the average cost of family coverage increased from $8,281 in 2001 to $10,728 in 2005.

Meanwhile, the median income of people who hold family health insurance policies increased just $1,250 during the same period, from $40,818 in 2001 to $42,068 in 2005.

The average cost that employers pay for their share of family coverage increased from $6,360 to $8,143, or 28 percent, during the period.

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