The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Health insurance costs up; coverage down

Sep 9, 2002

The Kaiser Family Foundation just released its annual report on health insurance. The cost of workplace health insurance policies went up almost 13% last year – the biggest one-year increase since 1990. Prescription drug insurance costs went up even faster – 14 to 19% last year. And even bigger health and drug insurance cost increases are predicted for this year and the future.

While overall costs are skyrocketing, the part of the cost paid by employees has been rising still faster. Employees paid 16% more for family coverage, or 27% more for single workers.

And the deductibles on PPO plans, the most popular type of workplace health insurance, went up by 37% last year.

Where is all this money going? To the profits of the insurance companies themselves for one. And to the profits of the drug companies for another. The health of their balance sheets couldn't be better.