Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Spike in Health Insurance Rates

Employers are paying 9% more health insurance this year, it was reported today, triple last year's rise of 3%. A family premium now costs $15,073 per year.

This is bad news if your employer pays for most of your health insurance, but good news if you're an advocate of a single-payer system. Since no politicians really care about the 50 million people who can't get health insurance on their own, and voters don't seem to care much either, the only way we will ever get insurance for all is when employers hurt so badly they start dropping insurance (which is already happening and will likely continue; see Exhibit 10 here) and the middle class starts whining so loudly politicians can't ignore them.

The Kaiser Family Foundation said today:
Since 1999, the dollar amount workers contribute toward premiums nationally has grown 168 percent, while their wages have grown by 50 percent, according to the survey.
KFF estimates that about 1.5 to 2 percentage points of the 9% increase came from new rules put in place by Obama's PPACA health care legislation.

Here is the history:

More informative charts from KFF can be found here.

Health care seems like it's in a barrel that's bursting at the seams. Every year the news is bad and the barrel bulges a little more. How long until the staves give way and it breaks completely?

Apologies for my cynicism (well, not really).


The Croquist said...

I think you're got a typo there.

Should it be "triple last year's riser of 3%"

Instead of "triple last year's riser of l3%"?

David Appell said...

Fixed -- thanks.

The Croquist said...

Mostly heartwarming Healthcare story:

I had lunch today with my friend Ron. Three weeks ago this Saturday he was receiving two new kidneys from a "juvenile" donor. The reason he got both is because they were not fully grown. Things seem to be going very well. I won't go into details but daddy doesn't do dialysis while helping his kids with their homework anymore (they're 8 & 6). He had been on dialysis for 5 1/2 years.

Anyway, two weeks prior to the transplant he was called in to the hospital for a potential transplant. While waiting he received a blood pressure pill and an anti-rejection drug in preparation for the transplant. They canceled the transplant because when they removed the kidney from the donor it had "precancerous" signs (good call!). The bill for medication was 14,000 dollars. Now he buys the pills at a pharmacy for $3.00 for 60 days. He's been told that all the drugs he will be on from now on will be $300.00 - $400.00 per month. What's with the 14,000 dollars? Kidney disease is actually covered by Medicare regardless of age and he's got insurance so it's not a financial issue. But WTF????