Managed Care


Middle class faces steeply rising premiums

MANAGED CARE October 2009. © MediMedia USA
Managed Care Outlook

Middle class faces steeply rising premiums

MANAGED CARE October 2009. ©MediMedia USA

Without a change in course, middle- as well as low-income families might eventually be priced out of the health insurance market.

If premiums for employer-sponsored insurance grow in each state at the projected national rate, then the average premium (constant dollars) for family coverage would rise from $12,298 (2008 average) to $23,842 by 2020 — a 94 percent increase.

Further, between 1999 and 2008, employer-sponsored family health insurance premiums rose by 119 percent nationally, while median family income rose by 29 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey.

If national health reform were able to slow premium growth by just 1 percentage point in all states, by 2020 employers and families together would save $2,571 per premium for family coverage, compared with the projection. By 2015, with a 1.5 percentage point slowdown, families could save $1,682. The savings would more than double — to $3,759 — for 2020.

In 2003, North Dakota had the lowest premiums, while the District of Columbia had the highest. But Idaho had the lowest premiums in 2008, and it should continue to hold that place in 2015 and 2020. Massachusetts will have the highest.

Projections for family premiums in 2020 range from $21,009 in Idaho to $26,730 in Massachusetts.

These findings are presented in the Commonwealth Fund’s August report, “Paying the price: How health insurance premiums are eating up middle-class incomes.”

Premiums for family coverage, 2003, 2008, 2015, 2020

Projected annual savings in family premiums, 2015 and 2020

*Premium estimates for 2015 and 2020 based on CMS Office of the Actuary, National Health Statistics Group, national health expenditures per capita annual growth rate.

Source for both charts: The Commonwealth Fund. Data Brief: Paying the price: How health insurance premiums are eating up middle-class incomes. August 2009


Private Health Insurance Exchanges Conference Washington, D.C. October 7–8, 2014
National Healthcare Facility Management Summit Palm Beach, FL October 16–17, 2014
National Healthcare CFO Summit Las Vegas, NV October 19–21, 2014
National Healthcare CXO Summit Las Vegas, NV October 19–21, 2014
Innovative Member Engagement Operations For Health Plans Las Vegas, NV October 20–21, 2014
4th Partnering With ACOs Summit Los Angeles, CA October 27–28, 2014
2014 Annual HEDIS® and Star Ratings Symposium Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
PCMH & Shared Savings ACO Leadership Summit Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
World Orphan Drug Congress Europe 2014 Brussels, Belgium November 12–14, 2014
Medicare Risk Adjustment, Revenue Management, & Star Ratings Fort Lauderdale, FL November 12–14, 2014
Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Forum Alexandria, VA November 13–14, 2014
Home Care Leadership Summit Atlanta, GA November 17–18, 2014