Apr 2, 2019 - Health

Premium growth is swallowing income growth in many states

The financial burden of insurance premiums is growing, especially in sparsely populated states in the South, West and Northeast, according to a new analysis by the Leonard David Institute of Health Economics and United States of Care.

The big picture: Premiums are eating up an increasingly big share of workers' paychecks. And this analysis doesn't include out-of-pocket spending, which is rising even faster.

Between the lines: In 2016, the average national premium for a family plan ate up 30% of median income, including both the employer and employee share. That's up from 28% in 2010.

  • Louisiana had the highest cost burden in 2016, with 37.1% of income going toward premiums. Minnesota had the lowest, at 24.4%.
  • Nationally, premiums grew by 27.7% between 2010 and 2016, while income grew by 19.8%.
  • Most economists view the employer share of premiums as lost wages for workers.

The bottom line: All trends point to health care becoming only more expensive for workers and employers. And the more both groups are forced to pay, the more poignant a political issue it becomes.

Go deeper: Health care costs are skyrocketing, and wiping out wage increases

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