Health Insurance Rates Will Be More Than Income

By 2033, you will likely be paying more money for your health insurance premiums than your total annual income provides.  Jenifer Goodwin of Health Day wrote about an Annals of Family Medicine study in the article “Health Insurance Premiums Will Surpass Median Household Income in 2033: Study.”  They used data from 2000-2009 and found that health insurance rates increased 8%, while median incomes only increased by 2%.  By using those same rates to forecast the future, your health insurance premiums would be about half of your income by 2021 and would cost more than your total income by 2033.  The median income in 2009 was just under $50,000.

This study is using the total premium cost for calculations, which does include both the money you contribute as well an any employer contributions.  If you have individual health insurance from a company like Aultcare, you pay all of the premium costs yourself anyways.  It does not take into account any of your out-of-pocket costs for co-pays, deductibles, or prescriptions.  Adding co-pay costs into the equation and taking out employer contributions, health care costs would equal half of the median income by 2031.

In 2005, it was estimated that health insurance rates would be higher than median income by 2025, so there have been a few positive changes.  The Affordable Care Act of 2010 looks to decrease some costs.  Also, the economic recession is forcing many families to spend less money on their health care.  That may not be a good thing overall, but it does lower demand and therefore, healthcare costs.  There are many opinions as to what will help this seemingly dire situation and all of them require overhaul of the current practices.  Regardless of who pays for these health insurance premiums, we need to make changes to what is covered by health insurance and what can be done to minimize testing and treatment where it is unnecessary.

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