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Healthcare costs on the rise

According to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust, while the rate of health insurance premium increases slowed this year, healthcare costs still rose five times faster than the rate of inflation. Further, the trend of employers passing healthcare costs along to employees has caused consumers to pay a larger share of their health-care bills.


The rising costs add to the number of Americans who can't afford health-care. If they become unable to afford their share of the premiums, they won't be able to afford health insurance at all. For nurses, an increase in people unable to afford insurance means that patients are sicker; they wait longer before seeking care.


Fast stats

The survey indicated the following:


[white diamond suit] Since 2000, the average worker's monthly premium rose from $28 to $47.


[white diamond suit] The contribution for family coverage rose from $135 to $222.


[white diamond suit] Heath insurance premiums rose 13.9% in 2003 and 11.2% in 2004.


[white diamond suit] Of the firms with less than 200 employees, only 63% offer coverage, down from 68% in 2001.


[white diamond suit] Overall out-of-pocket costs for workers have grown 60% in the last 4 years.