Survey shows health insurance premiums are growing
Employer sponsored health insurance premiums for family plans went up this year, according to a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust. Health insurance premiums have been a serious concern since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010. The federal health care law seeks to lower premiums, but many suggest that the changes the law brings to the health care and insurance industries will, in fact, cause a spike in health insurance premiums.
Premiums show modest growth in 2012
The survey shows that insured workers are paying more for their family plans. The premiums for these plans increased by 4% in 2012, reaching an average cost of $15,745. Though health insurance premiums seem to be on the rise, this year’s increase is down from the spike seen in 2011. Last year, health insurance premiums rose by 9%. The Kaiser Family Foundation notes that the rise in health insurance premiums is actually good news, as a much larger jump in costs had been expected.
Several factors could contribute to rate of growth
Researchers suggest that the rate at which premiums are rising is slowing down. This may be due to several factors, including economic recovery and more efficient medical care. The rising popularity of high deductible health insurance plans may also be having an impact on premiums as insurance companies face reduced financial liability for illnesses. The Kaiser Family Foundation suspects that economic trends are having the most significant impact on premiums because both health insurance and the U.S. economy have been closely tied together for decades.
Higher health insurance premiums could impact financial stability of some families
Though the rate at which health insurance premiums are growing seems to be slowing down, any increase in the cost of policies continues to add financial stress to some families. Many families are still struggling to recover from the impact of the economic disaster of 2008. For these people, any additional financial burden is not typically welcome and higher costs could actually impact the financial stability of some families.