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Robert Trigaux

Study: Florida family health premiums up 3.7 times faster than earnings in past decade



Family health care premiums rose an estimated 3.7 times faster than earnings for Florida’s workers from 2000 through 2009, according to a report issued today by the consumer health organization Families USA. In that 10-year period, family health insurance premiums rose by 98.1 percent, while median earnings rose by only 26.7 percent.

"Rising health care costs threaten the financial well-being of families in Florida and across the nation," says Ron Pollack, Families USA executive director. "If health care reform does not happen soon, more and more families will be priced out of the health coverage they used to take for granted."

Families USA is a Washington-based advocacy group for universal healthcare. The study's key findings, out this morning, include:

* For family health coverage provided through the workplace in Florida, the average annual health insurance premium (employer and worker share of premiums combined) in the 2000-2009 period rose from $6,812 to $13,497—an increase of $6,685, or 98.1 percent.

* Between 2000 and 2009, the median earnings of Florida’s workers rose from $22,753 to $28,836—an increase of $6,083, or 26.7 percent.

These price hikes, of course, occurred at the same time that employees receiving “thinner coverage”— coverage that offers fewer benefits and/or that comes with higher deductibles, copayments, and co-insurance. Other employers have cut costs by placing limits on which employees are eligible for coverage or by eliminating coverage for spouses and children of employees. As a result, Florida families are paying more but receiving less in health coverage. Here's the entire report.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist 

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:25am]


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