Even though health insurance premiums have had their lowest increase for seven years, they still managed to go up at over twice the USA’s rate of inflation. Not much comfort for millions of workers who have to fork out even more money – especially when their wages have not kept pace.

Health insurance premiums have gone up by 7.7%, less than 9.2% the previous year and 11.2% two years ago. The 7.7% has to be compared to an inflation rate of 3.5% and wage gains of 3.8%.

During the last six years health insurance premiums have gone up by 87%, while wages have just managed a 20% increase, according to a survey carried out by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The Kaiser Family Foundation interviewed 3,159 people randomly by telephone.

Six years ago 69% of employers offered health benefits, today the number has dropped to 61%. However, there are indications that this downward slide may be flattening out.

The average total health insurance cost for an individual now stands at $4,242 per year, and $11,480 for families.

Click here to download the summary finding (PDF)

Employer Health Benefits 2006 Annual Survey

Written by: Christian Nordqvist
Editor: Medical News Today