Study: Health care premiums may double by 2020

If current trends continue without significant health reform, health insurance premiums for Americans may double from their current rate by 2020, according to a study from the Commonwealth Fund.

If current trends continue without significant health reform, health insurance premiums for Americans may double from their current rate by 2020, according to a study from the Commonwealth Fund.

As reported by Medpage Today, the study found that average employer-sponsored insurance premiums in 2008 cost $12,298, a 199 percent increase from similar rates in 1999. Following those statistics, rates will continue to increase to the point that premiums could hit $23,842.

"Without a change in course, projections of premium trends indicate that middle- as well as lower-income families may well be priced out of the insurance market, or forced to sacrifice future wage increases to hold onto shrinking health benefits," the report stated, according to Medpage.

The survey also found that while only three U.S. states had premiums that took up 18 percent of the average household income in 2003, that the number of states with the same high premiums had increased nine times by 2008

The report is the second concerning health insurance that predicts a somewhat grim future if no reforms are adopted. According to USA Today, a report released by the American Academy of Family Physicians found that students entering medical school for primary care had fallen off by 51.8 percent since 1997, leading to the threat of only having 100,000 family physicians available in 2020 while 140,000 will be required to properly serve the public.

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Posted: August 21, 2009

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