The Common Good
December 2009

Healthy Middle Class?

by Jeannie Choi | December 2009

Expensive health insurance premiums are detrimental to the survival of the middle class, according to a 2009 study released by The Commonwealth Fund.

Expensive health insurance premiums are detrimental to the survival of the middle class, according to a 2009 study released by The Commonwealth Fund. Through analysis of federal data, researchers discovered that without health-care reform the average premiums for family coverage could increase dramatically in the next 10 years. Many working families are already caught between having money in the bank and holding on to their health-care benefits. The analysis reveals that health-care reform could slow the rate of premium growth and save employers and families thousands of dollars.

119%

The increase in employer-sponsored family health insurance premiums between 1999 and 2008.

$12,298

The average cost of family premiums for employer-sponsored health insur-ance across all states. Without reform, this will be $23,842 by 2020.

94%

The increase by 2020 if the cost of average premiums for family coverage continues to climb at its current rate.

$3,759

The average amount saved on family health plans if the rate of increase in average premiums for family coverage was slowed by 1.5 percentage points.

Source: “Paying the Price: How Health Insurance Premiums are Eating Up Middle-Class Incomes” (The Commonwealth Fund, August 2009)

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