Americans are paying more out of their own pockets for health insurance than ever before, according to new statistics.
A survey by Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Education Trust found that the cost of health insurance premiums in the U.S. increased by an average of 5 percent during the past year, with employees paying $3,354 of that premium, on average.
Premiums have more than doubled in cost since 1999, the study reveals, while the average salary has only increased by 34 percent.
Employees have also been landed with higher deductibles, particularly those who work for smaller firms with fewer than 200 workers.
A total of 18 percent of employees at companies of all sizes faced a deductible of $1,000 or more, a rise from 12 percent in 2007.
"Health insurance is steadily becoming less comprehensive, and it’s no wonder that in today’s tough economic climate many families count health care costs as one of their top pocketbook issues," commented Kaiser CEO Drew Altman.
U.S. expenditures on healthcare totaled nearly $1.9 trillion in 2004, according to the KFF, citing the most recent statistics available.