Report: Health insurance premiums up significantly for state residents

Health insurance premiums for state residents below age 65 rose far faster than their paychecks, with many of them having to pay higher deductibles as well.

The Commonwealth Fund report said the average premium for single residents rose from an average of $3,814 in 2003 to $5,673 in 2011.

For families, the premiums rose at an even faster rate – 53 percent – from $10,168 in 2003 to $15,589 in 2011.

While the average increase for New Jersey residents was smaller than the 62 percent average across all states, the average resident’s paycheck didn’t see corresponding hikes.

” Rapidly rising health insurance premiums and higher cost-sharing continue to strain the budgets of U.S. working families and employers. Analysis of state trends in private employer-based health insurance from 2003 to 2011 reveals that premiums for family coverage increased 62 percent across states—rising far faster than income for middle- and low-income families,” the fund said. “At the same time, deductibles more than doubled in large and small firms. Workers are thus paying more but getting less-protective benefits.”

The foundation prognosticates that if the current trend continues, the average premium for family coverage will reach nearly $25,000 by 2020.

While the fund said the Affordable Care Act’s reforms “should begin to moderate costs while improving coverage,” it added more reforms are needed because future health care premium hikes are likely to go up more than any salary hikes the average resident may receive.

Report: Health insurance premiums up significantly for state residents