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Rising health insurance costs drive more into private market

Posted On Tue, September 15, 2009

A growing number of companies are being forced to scale back their health insurance coverage, which is resulting in more people seeking policies on the private market.

This week, the Kaiser Family Foundation released statistics showing that with the average workplace family insurance policy having increased by 5 percent in cost last year, employers are now paying an average of $9,860 per year to offer such benefits.

The report added that the price increase is especially striking when considering how general inflation actually decreased by 0.7 percent during the same period. Premiums were said to have increased by 131 percent since 1999, compared to a 38 percent in average wages during that time and a 28 percent increase in inflation.

The Kaiser Foundation also noted that the annual increase in premiums has leveled off somewhat in recent years, compared to the double digit increases that characterized the early part of this decade.

Still, the recession has forced a growing number of employers to reduce or eliminate outright the coverage they offer, which has more workers seeking out the most affordable health insurance plans they can find on the private market.

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