A report released last week by the Commonwealth Fund, Paying the Price: How Health insurance Premiums are Eating Up Middle-Class Incomes, found that between 1999 and 2008, employer sponsored health insurance (ESI) premiums rose by 119%, while median American family income rose by only 29%.
In New York, employer-sponsored Insurance (ESI) premiums for a family rose 36% between 2003 and 2008. This new report indicates that, in the absence of Congressional action to control health care costs, ESI premiums are projected to rise to 24% of a family’s income by 2020. Employees and their families are at the breaking point—businesses too are reeling.
Middle-class families paying a fourth of their income in insurance coverage may not remain middle-class for long. Meanwhile, businesses dealing with ever-rising ESI costs are forgoing employee wage increases.
As the Commonwealth Report states, “With rising costs and eroding coverage, much is at stake for the insured and uninsured alike as the nation debates health care reform.”