Tuesday, March 02, 2010

One Percent, Day Six: Will YOU be able to afford insurance next year?

Think you don't need to worry about health care reform because you've got insurance? Think again. According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, your health insurance premium will soon become unaffordable for you: From 1999 to 2008, health insurance premiums increased by 119% -- more than doubling in nine years. Over that time, wages increased an average of 34%.

Put in real numbers, if in 1999 you earned $50,000, and paid $185 per month in health insurance, so your health insurance costs were 0.04% of your gross income. By 2008 you earned $67,000, and your premiums were $405 per month, and were 0.07% of your income. If that trend continues, nine years from now you'll be making $89,780, and your premiums will be $966 per month.

That's not all, though. You have to factor in co-pays and co-insurance. Co-pays rose an average of 25% from 2002 to 2005 ($15 to $19). People working for smaller companies -- small businesses! The lifeblood of Republicans! -- saw higher increases in co-pays on average, and they'd started out higher ($17 to $20 over that period of time.) (Source.)

Which means it's about 125% more expensive for you to go see the doctor, one time, today than it was 9 years ago -- and might be worse, depending on how often you have to go.

And did your income actually increase 34% over the last 9 years?

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