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Health Benefits in 2005: Premium Increases Slow Down, Coverage Continues to Erode

The Average Cost of Family Coverage Now Exceeds the Average Yearly Income of Minimum-Wage Americans

September/October 2005
Health Affairs, Vol. 24, No. 5
Jon R. Gabel, Gary Claxton, Isadora Gil, Jeremy D. Pickreign, Heidi H. Whitmore, Benjamin Finder, Samantha Hawkins, Diane Rowland

This paper reports findings on the state of job-based health insurance in spring 2005 and how it has changed during recent years. Premiums rose 9.2 percent, the first year of single-digit increases since 2000. The percentage of firms offering health benefits has fallen from 69 percent in 2000 to 60 percent in 2005. Cost sharing did not grow appreciably in the past year. Enrollment in preferred provider organizations (PPOs) grew from 55 percent in 2004 to 61 percent in 2005, while enrollment in health maintenance organizations (HMOs) fell from 25 percent to 21 percent of the total.

Free access to this article is available at the Health Affairs Web site.


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The Center for Studying Health System Change Ceased operation on Dec. 31, 2013.