If you have attended a recent health benefit fair, you would have observed that it will cost you more for medical insurance in 2013. It appears that health insurance will continue to rise for the coming years until the reasons for the rise are under control.
A private health care foundation -the Commonwealth Fund - study shows that health costs in 41 metropolitan areas in the nation rose an average of 61% for family coverage between 2003 and 2011. In the analysis, it was determined that medical insurance costs are rising faster for the typical American worker whose income rose by only about 10% during the same period.
It is clear that insurance costs are taking a big chunk of money from your wages. Family coverage for health care is now about $15,000 a year. The Commonwealth Fund estimates that it will exceed $25,000 by the year 2020.
During the years 2003 through 2011 insurance costs rose 69 % on average for family coverage which was rising faster than earnings which rose only 10% for that period. It was found that health insurance premiums use up 20% more of median family income in 35 states yearly. In other words, 20 cents of every dollar of those who are of working age pay for health insurance which converts to a ratio of 1 to 10.
Deductibles also have more than doubled during that period. For example, during the eight year study period, $1,079 was the deductible, but by 2011 it rose to $2,220 which families had to pay from their own savings. This represents an increase of 106% before insurance companies paid the bills.
According to a recent interview with reporters, Cathy Schoen, Senior Vice president of the Commonwealth Fund, health benefits are causing financial hardships to families over the past decade and they continue to spend more for insurance coverage and cover fewer benefits.
According to the Commonwealth Fund’s analysis, there is a distinct relationship between insurance rates and household median income for all states. It is estimated that the Affordable Care Act will slow down the rising rate of insurance costs along with health care reform. Insurers will find ways to reduce costs by changing the way health care is delivered to the public. It is expected that these tools will help to manage and medical insurance costs and the health care systems more efficiently by one percent than if reforms were not implemented.
However, there are other organizations that have concerns claiming that if health care reforms are implementated, health insurance costs will escalate due to increased taxation and new health regulations will require insurers to provide more robust health care benefits which may not be sustainable.
Only time will tell of the kind of impact these changes will have to medical insurance costs, the health care system and the changes needed to stabilize the health insurance system so all citizens will benefit.