A recent report by Families USA has revealed that health insurance premiums are growing 3.7 times more quickly than personal incomes. Over the past decade, the average health insurance premium increased by 98.1%, up to $13 497 this year from $6 812 in 2000.
While health insurance costs increase at such rapid rates, the average individual’s income has not experienced such a large surge. From 2000 to 2009, Florida workers have only seen a 26.7% increase in earnings. Where employees did, however, see a massive increase was in their share of insurance premiums, which increased by 138.6% over the course of the decade while their employers only saw an 81.7% increase.
Families USA is a nonprofit healthcare organization that is dedicated to achieving affordable and high-quality healthcare for Americans. They released the report in order to gain support for the Florida healthcare reform bills that would create more affordable health insurance in the state. Two of these bills proposed expanding Medicaid eligibility, allowing employees with higher income to receive benefits. These plans would then allow Medicaid coverage to be received by an extra 1.5 million workers in Florida.
Ron Pollack, Families USA’s Executive Director, noted the dangers of increasing healthcare costs, stating that they “threaten the financial well-being of Floridians and people across the nation”. He continued: “If healthcare reform doesn’t happen soon, many more families could be priced out and more businesses would become uncompetitive”.