Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Health Insurance Premiums in PA

From the inbox:

White House Report: The Burden of Health Insurance Premium Increases on Pennsylvania Families

Average Pennsylvania family premium growth is 110 percent, compared to just 50 percent wage growth

WASHINGTON – Today, speaking to a group of State Insurance Commissioners, Vice President Biden highlighted a new White House report documenting the burden of health insurance premium increases on Pennsylvania families.

Health insurance premiums for American families continue to skyrocket. In the past year, the national average annual family premium for employer-sponsored health insurance rose to $13,375 in 2009 – a shocking 5.5 percent increase during a recession when inflation actually fell by 0.7 percent.

"The status quo of rising premiums is simply unsustainable," said Vice President Biden, "for families, for businesses, for state budgets, and for our national economy."

In every state, premiums have increased far faster than wages and are consuming increased portions of family budgets. The White House's analysis found that families’ premiums in Pennsylvania went up 110 percent, outpacing wage growth of just 50 percent.

“The State Insurance Commissioners understand firsthand the health care crisis - and are fighting every day to combat it and reduce unjustified premium increases,” Vice President Biden said. “But these numbers are just one more piece of evidence that the need for nationwide reform is urgent.”

To read the full White House report, please click here.


Paul P. said...

The problem is that there are local monopolies in small group health insurance run by the 800 lb gorillas in the marketplace such as blue cross blue shield. In certain states, they have arrangements with local providers that make other carriers uncompetitive. Because of the lack of transparency and competition, the cost is passed on to the consumer (small businesses).

Also, the other big problem to rising health insurance premiums, aparticularly for families is that the brokers are doing nothing to control the cost of health insurance. they are provided incentives to keep the business with Blue Cross Blue Shield and companies like that by commissions and to sell a cheaper health plan would be coin out of their pocket. Also, if they move the business away from BCBS they lose commission on their whole block of business with them.

These guys are doing it right. Transparency, best interest in mind for the consumer and all in all sick of watching cost inflate while the brokers and the big guys get richer and richer.


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