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Research organization: Health insurance costs rising

September 21, 2009 by  

Health insurance costs rising, research organization. As the supporters and opponents of the public option in the healthcare reform continue to fiercely debate the merits of their positions, the Kaiser Family Foundation has published a new report that suggests health insurance costs for Americans are escalating.

The 2009 Employer Health Benefits Survey says premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance increased by 5 percent from last year—to $13,375 annually for family coverage—even though the rate of inflation fell by 0.7 percent in the same period.

The study was released jointly with the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET).

Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman says the reason the country is engaged in the health reform debate is because when costs continue to rise faster than inflation in the context of a severe recession, both workers and employers feel the pain.

Many employers deal with the rising costs by offering high-deductible plans, and the number of employees covered by such plans is growing. According to the survey, a total of 22 percent of covered workers have to pay at least $1,000 out of pocket this year before their plan kicks in.

This represents an increase of 18 percent from last year.

During the past 10 years, the cost of premiums rose by 131 percent, more than three times faster than worker wages and four times general inflation, the study also found.

"[Our] survey results demonstrate the need for comprehensive, meaningful reform," says Maulik S. Joshi, president of HRET.

He adds, "Our nation faces a unique opportunity to achieve reform and build a better healthcare system that improves care for patients and provides coverage for all at an affordable cost."

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  • eyeswideopen

    Thank you Mr. Livingston, for posting this information, I have been quoting the 131 % increase and that salaries have only risen by 38% in the past ten years, but most of the people on this site, didn’t believe me. Projections are showing that within four years, the amount will be $17,205. An increase of $3830.00 that an employer will be spending instead of giving a raise. The out of pocket projections are also increasing to $2669 within four years. So not only are people losing the raise, but their out of pocket expense will be almost 3K. For all of those who love your healthcare plan, it is not loving you back. Even if you aren’t participating in Medicare, you will be feeling the crunch of a negative $6499.00 in your pocket. When you have so few Insurance companies servicing 200 million people, it’s a no brainer, we need more competition. Monopolies are the end result of a non-competitive market place.

    • David

      We don’t love our health care plans…we just hate obama care and the power grab…can’t you see that? Tort reform, trans-state competiton for insurance, medicare/medicade reform…but do one at a time.

      • http://none allen

        David, you are just plain nuts or ignorant. There is not an Obamacare plan, and you know it. The opposition to health care reform is the medical insurance companies and the medical -industrial complex. There is no way our capitalistic system can absorb the increases in health care costs wrought by the insurance industry and totally out of control expenditures on inefficient or wasteful health care delivery. If they can do it better than government, more power to them, but they ought not be afraid to compete if they think they have a better product or better solution – by definition, if a government option can provide equivalent care at lesser cost, it is better – end of argument. If it can’t, then it ought to fail. As for me, I am terribly unhappy paying the CEO of United Health Care his $190 million salary package this year while he increased premiums 35 times the inflation rate – that is a criminal act as far as I am concerned.

        We defintely need a new form of government in this country – hypercapitalism is not working, and we ought to insist on establishing a democracy.

        • eyeswideopen

          thank you!!
          Paul Krugman on Bill Maher tonight stated that our capitalism has been hijacked and does not function as capitalism used to. It is socialism for the wealthy and corporate American.

          • BOE

            Ha! Bill Maher has made millions under this capital system just sitting at a desk and talking stupid! Only in America and how ungrateful he is. So when Obama wants to dip into Maher`s bamk acct. he won`t so upset..right.

          • Smilee


            I believe the statement was made by Paul K not Bill M as you infer, why always respond by taking it off message and go off on a tangent, does not make for responsible dialog

          • eyeswideopen

            Smilee, funny isn’t it, that not much debate happened on this site. They are more interested in fighting for their guns, than for their health. lol

      • hopeforamerica

        David; Get Off this “power grab” (Word Removed for Offensive Content) !! The reform has NOT a Damn thing to with Power. It’s Simply about making sure people don’t suffer and die because they can no longer afford health insurance premiums from escalating premiums and deductibles, or have been denied coverage all together! It’s All Saving the Lives of the people we Love! This you spew is alot of neo-con and republicon sound bites of propaganda designed to throw you and alot of ignorant people of track! And there pockets are filled with Insurance & Pharma money.
        They don’t care about you…your family or me. They only care about the bottom line!

        OPEN Your Eyes David! Insurance companies rates continue to increase exponentially more than the rate of inflation. Hard working middle class people are Dying!!!

      • Norm


        “We don’t love our health care plans…we just hate obama care and the power grab…” ????

        Your key word is HATE. You don’t hate Obama care, you hate Obama. There is nothing Obama could say or do that would make you utter one good word about him. You sound like a hate radio cheer leader. Rush would be proud of you. Incidently, Rush used to ocassionally make a little sense, but has lately become so twisted in his hatred that it borders on treason.
        I know asking you to be objective in your thinking is an impossibility, so I ask you to at least curb your hatred. It will make you ill and health care in this country isn’t that great.

    • eyeswideopen

      God bless America, all of it, not just one state.!!

      • hopeforamerica

        A Public Plan is the ONLY Way of forcing the insurance companies to offer competitive rates and coverage to business!

        We Must have a Public Option or the insurance industry will continue to rape hard working Americans!

  • puzzled

    you menton the increase in insurance periums over the last decade and the amount is quite large but you don’t mention what health care costs did over that same period? What percentage increase was there is health care costs?

    not a big fan of insurance compaqnies but you are only telling part of the story – insurance premium increases probably coincide with health care cost increaes – costs that increased government regulation add too as well as litigation costs, or insurance agaisnt such litigation – what have they done over the last decade – tell the whole story not just part of it – thats all we want – the whole truth

    • hopeforamerica

      TO: Puzzled; The Proof is in the pudding. The insurance industry profits are enormous.

  • Carl Smith

    Reform is needed badly. Do we want another Amtrak,USPS,Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac ? I don’t. Does anybody believe Tort Reform is possible ? If so you must live in Disney World. The Gov. needs to study the Constitution and see how badly they have and are trampling the document that has served us so well until the statist took control.

    • eyeswideopen

      Carl, you just jump right in there and look up the bills passed during the previous admin,,, I’m so sure you will be just happy as a peach.

    • Smilee

      It is interesting to always hear you people say the constitution is being trampled on but never say why with any specificity what so ever. Where is the evidence?????
      The truth, there is none!!!

  • Bill Massey

    If the government comes up with a public option, the private companies will not be able to compete because the government makes the rules and does not have to make a profit. I cannot think of a single program that the fed has done efficiently. Medicare is broke, Social Security is about broke, Cash for clunkers was a joke and now it will be dollars for dishwashers. If I wanted to live in Russia, I would move there.Congress should read the constitution and abide by it to the letter, our country would be better for it and we would get our freedoms back. Just my southern redneck opinion. God bless Texas

    • eyeswideopen

      Bill, it is corporate American that is draining this country. See link

    • hopeforamerica

      Bull Bill! You are either ignorant, or I suspect you either work for a insurance company or own stock in one.

      A Public Option will Force the insurers to offer lower rates and and better plans to businesses!! That’s a win-win for Business owners, employees, and families!!!

      Vote Yes on a Public Option !!!

    • hopeforamerica

      TO: Bill Massey; Cash for Clunkers was a Huge success. So successful, the gov’t didn’t anticipate the huge influx of participants/buyers, in such a short time period. The gov’t is now playing catch up to try and get the refunds out to the dealers ASAP. Moreover, the program resulted in the auto companies to rehire thousands of auto workers! Not That’s a Success Story!!

    • Norm

      Bill Massey
      You just stated that insurance companies can’t compete with the government. Exactly the point!! Does that mean you’d rather pay more for less?
      As far as medicare. The biggest failures with the system are:
      1) The insurance company option (part C advantage) which is run by the insurance companies and paid for by the government and is very expensive.
      2)Wasteful unnecessary procedures and abuse of the system.
      3)Lack of proper financing from taxation. Megamillionaires can cough up a little more.
      4)A insane drug plan that favors drug companies.
      5)Medicaid which has no private funding and exists because of uninsured people.

  • Ray B

    Bill, My Dad was a boilermaker in the Todd shipyard on the Houston ship channel during the war. I went to school in Denver Harbor when it was a seperate little city outside of houston. In reality Houston covers an area larger than Hassis county as compared to then. I agree with you 100%. This is the 13th presidendial administration I am living thru. During the Vietnam days I was a big time protestor of that mass slaughter of American troops. Now with the administration that is in washington what we lack is having a number tattooed on our arm. Stay well armed and don`t forget where your ammo is sitting. The government has taken the FREEDOM out of the UNITED STATES. Insurance companies cannot compete with BIG GOVERNMENT. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

  • Danny Mills

    So is hopeforamerica the only one specking from the left. You are surrounded by the people on the right, who thinks the goverment should not take out tax dollars to provide public healthcare. hopeforamerica sounds like another ACORN group not a real person.

    • Norm

      Danny Mills
      Do you feel better about giving money to insurance companies than paying more taxes? You probably wouldn’t pay more taxes anyway.
      It wasn’t government that caused the economic meltdown, it was the lack of it. I’ve worked in the private sector for over 40 years, and I’ve seen a lot things that were simply shameful.
      What makes you feel(as I’m sure do)that it’s fine for the government to waste tax dollars fighting nonsense wars. The trillion dollar drain on the US economy could have bought a whole lot of healthcare.

  • Winston

    When I went into the service , we were told to protect against enemy’s foreign and domestic. Our new pres is the worst kind of terrorist we have ( domestic ) . I am truly afraid of what this piece of (word removed for offensive content) is doing to our (my) country

    Thank you Winston Wolf (USN-RET)

    • Norm

      I’m far more afraid of what a piece of (Word removed for offensive content) like you and all your traitor friends are doing to my country. Didn’t the Navy tell you to the president is the commander in chief of the armed forces? Maybe your watching Fox News that day.
      USAF vet.

      • Winston

        It hurts me to call you a brother in arms , but do you not realize the liberals such as yourself are turning this country into a give it all away country ? I have worked to hard and to long to have big government take what I’ve earned and just it all to people who don’t relay give a sh*t — sorry brother it IS people like you ( liberals) . Thank you for your service — Winston Wolf (USN-RET)

        • eyeswideopen

          Winston, just curious what do you think he is giving away? I keep hearing that? Just what is being given away?

        • Norm

          Take a good look at the last 8 years.
          It wasn’t Obama who blew nearly a trillion dollars destroying Iran’s arch ememy Iraq. It wasn’t Obama who spearheaded a ridiculus medicare drug plan that makes insurance companies and drug companies rich and costs you and I dearly. It wasn’t Obama who was president when the major financial institutions and banks nearly collapsed due to greed.
          It wasn’t Obama who ignored the health care crisis in The US. It wasn’t Obama who tried to privatize SS, an idea that has been a total failure in Britain. It hurts me that you fail to see what’s in front of your eyes.
          Incidently, I’m not a liberal.

          • Winston

            To clarify my position ( give away country )—- I believe that if we were to run this great country as a business – very tough regulations and accountable. Stop handing our hard earned money out IE; the UN , acorn , undesirable country’s , questionable governments . And really take care of our own people IE; vets , homeless , drug addicts , older folks . Secure our boarders ( not just Mexico ) I think we could all have a piece of the pie . Start helping OUR people ( US citizens) I’m saying to not help others — that’s what we do , I just saying USA first — Thank you you really made me think on this ….

            Winston Wolf (USN-RET )

          • eyeswideopen

            WINSTON, you don’t get it do you? The Republicans, don’t want regulation, they believe in letting the free market run without any controls. During Bush’s admin, don’t you remember that they wanted to privatize Social Security and Medicare? Where do you think we would be now, if that had happened? I’ll tell you where, broke, they money would be gone. Everyone on Medicare and SS should be thanking the Lord, that they weren’t allowed to privatize those two programs. The reason we haven’t had any Wall Street rules or regulations passed yet, is it will be a big battle with the Republicans and Libertarians.

  • s c

    Many Americans suffer from a fatal flaw that clouds their judgment. We want to believe that those who are sent to Washington go there to make America batter. Our ‘reward’ has been a long line of incompetents and criminals who have learned how easy it is to get elected and re-elected.
    The current White House pretender has all but destroyed the checks-and-balances that the Founding Fathers gave us. If you doubt this, R E A D the words of Senator Byrd [D, WV]. As long as people see what they want to see, they will never get good government. The days of this party vs. that party are over. Now, it is a battle between Americans and anti-Americans. Both parties gave us social security, medicare, and medicaid. The government made soc sec a ticking time bomb. Medicaid and medicare are on life support. Bad government ALWAYS finds scape goats. The culprit in health care is GOVERNMENT. The culprit in most of America’s ills is GOVERNMENT. Anyone who can have faith in this band of criminals deserves whatever happens to them. Take off those damned rose-colored glasses, people, and be an American while there is yet time.

    • Norm

      s c
      I have problems with government as well.
      In a democracy government is inefficient by definition. Because of the large and diverse differences of opinion between people from different regions, religious beliefs, and ideas of what goverenment should be involved in, polarization occurs which sometimes cripples the entire system (as now). But it’s still the safest and best system there is, in my opinion. As slow and cumbersome as our government is, it does have checks and balances and accountabilities that eventually eliminate most of the worse abuses.
      On the other hand, an unregulated free market is only as good as the individuals running the the companies and institutions that comprise it. With power goes responsibility. People in power need to look beyond their own personal greed and hypocracy and keep in mind what is good for the country that allowed them to become the untitled royalty that they are. They may (or not) have worked hard to reach their positions of wealth and power, but it wasn’t given to them by God and it should be taken for granted. Individuals who do harm to the country need to be held accountable. A common thief is prosecuted, but selling out your country to the highest bidder is often overlooked.

      • Smilee


        Fantastic post, thanks for the insight

    • Norm

      They may (or not) have worked hard to reach their positions of wealth and power, but it wasn’t given to them by God and it SHOULD NOT be taken for granted.

  • Smilee

    The republicans are up to their lying ways again, posted in the summary, see the site below for all the information and all the verification sources to check for yourself if you want to know where they got the information that this summary was created from.

    RNC Tax Attack Goes Too Far. An RNC Web ad claims Democrats would tax ordinary wheelchairs. Not true.

    September 29, 2009


    The Republican National Committee claims in a new Web ad that Democratic health care plans propose taxes on “charities and small businesses. A doctor’s tax. Taxes on your health insurance. Even a tax on medical supplies.”
    It’s perfectly true, as the ad says, that “hundreds of billions” in taxes are being proposed – spread over 10 years. But the ad exaggerates and misleads in a number of ways:
    • It makes a downright false claim that ordinary wheelchairs would be among “medical supplies” subject to a proposed tax on manufacturers and importers. That’s not true: Wheelchairs and roughly half of all other medical devices would be exempt. (When we pointed this out, an RNC official said the ad would be modified, however.)
    • It features a proposed tax on medical laboratory services that has already been dropped.
    • The alleged tax on “charities” is actually a proposed limit on federal income tax deductions for charitable gifts by individual taxpayers in the highest brackets, not a tax levied directly on the charities themselves.
    • Similarly, the “small business” tax also refers to a proposed tax increase on individuals making more than $280,000 a year ($350,000 for families), only some of whom own small businesses. The vast majority of small-business owners don’t bring in enough to be affected.
    The ad claims “your health insurance costs will skyrocket,” but independent experts disagree. The head of the Congressional Budget Office says the biggest tax proposed in the Senate Finance Committee plan, for example, would reduce health care spending, because it cuts a tax incentive that encourages spending.

    • eyeswideopen

      Smilee, I have figured it out.. The Republicans don’t realize that the normal everyday citizen can fact check anything that comes out of their mouths…. They really think we are all stupid. They will do anything to regain power, which when they had it, they squandered it, and caused this mess.

      • Smilee


        It seems as time goes by, their lies get more and more ridiculous, are they getting more desperate? I agree they will stop at nothing to regain power, if they had solutions to the problems of the day I do not think they would have to tell all these lies but they appear clueless right now. See this OP-ED in the NY times today, very interesting and something that everyone should read and look at this perspective.

        • eyeswideopen

          Smilee, it is sad to see our system of Democracy failing, due to the massive ego’s and power struggle amoungst men who have been purchased with such small amounts of money. They have given up integrity in order to try and retain power. I must give credit to the normal citizen, they at least had enough smarts not to allow the same party to remain in office. They instinctively knew that power cannot remain in the hands of one party for too long.

  • Eric

    Health Care rightfully belongs in the private sector and, I do not see any constitution right nor basis for the government to run it except when it comes to social aid, (I.E. Medicade and social services funded programs which should be ran within the private sector with government only overseeing it administratively.). What needs to be done is regulatory by the government. Look at the utility companies for just a quick secound. There are laws in place to keep them from monopolizing and charging higher then the sky rates on people. If they wanted to otherwise overnight they could triple your electric and gas bills overnight. If they need to increase rates for cost reasons they have to go through the rings of substantiating that basis through regulatory means. Sure there is competition but what you are seeing is COLLECTIVE MONOPOLIZATION. Here in lies the problem collective monopolization of the health care and pharmacuetical industry. Prices so high that it imposes an unethical profit making margin. It is defunking the economy. Your life savings can go down the drain in an instant that you had work so hard to establish. It cuts through US companies abilities to be competitive against imports. It cuts your earned money to enjoy things for your hard work. It curtails the principals of being able to stir the economy through exchange of goods that you can’t afford becuse of this. It has the same effect of over taxation on the economy. Why hasn’t the government imposed regulatory price caps on the health industry? Perhaps this is because the political pay back is too good. Explain how a procedure in the USA can run $500,000 when the same one in India with qaulity care runs $50,000 including the cost for transporting? Some insurance companies are using this type of outsourcing. In my opinion true health care reform is a regulatory issue placing caps on this collective monopolization.


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