Reports: Growth in insurance premiums outpacing paycheck growth in four states

The growth in health insurance premiums from 2000 to 2009 are significantly outpacing the growth of paychecks in four states, according to recent reports from Families USA.

The growth in health insurance premiums from 2000 to 2009 are significantly outpacing the growth of paychecks in four states, according to recent reports from Families USA.

The states - Connecticut, Maine, North Dakota, and Florida - were singled out by the organization for having premiums that rose between 2.7 to 7.4 times the rate of increase for paychecks in the states.

Connecticut saw the largest deficit between the rise in premiums and paychecks, with the former rising 7.4 times quicker than the latter. While the average annual premium payment increased from $7,292 to $14,282 for a 95.9 percent increase, the median earnings of workers in the state only rose from $32,106 to $36,276, or 13 percent.

Maine was the second hardest state hit, with premiums rising 4.6 times quicker than paychecks. While premiums rose 101.4 percent $6,915 to $13,927), median workers' earnings only rose 22.1 percent $22,163 to $27,063). Florida 's premiums rose 3.7 times quicker than paychecks, with insurance premiums increasing 98.1 percent $6,812 to $13,497) while the median earnings rose 26.7 percent $22,753 to $28,836).

North Dakota was the fourth hardest hit, with premiums outpacing paychecks 2.7 times over. While premiums rose 94 percent from $6,124 to $11,882, median earnings only rose 35.2 percent from $19,196 to $25,945, or 35.2 percent Table 3).

According to the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, State 1st District Congresswoman Chellie Pingree cited the data as evidence that health care reform was needed and said that cheaper costs would be "the biggest boost to the Maine economy than anything we could possibly do."

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Posted: August 13, 2009

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