Health insurance premiums rising dramaticallyby Martin Moylan, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Health insurance premiums for Minnesotans and their employers rose dramatically from 2003 to 2009, but less steeply than they did nationally, according to a report from The Commonwealth Fund.
The nonprofit organization says the average cost of family coverage at private-sector Minnesota firms rose 31 percent, to about $13,200 a year. Single coverage rose 25 percent to an average of $4,600. The figures represent the combined contributions of employers and employees.
Cathy Schoen of The Commonwealth Fund says health insurance premiums are leaping far ahead of the the ability of people to pay them.
By 2020, if we take what's happened in the last six years on average, the Minnesota family premiums will be running over $23,000 a year. That is the total cost -- employer and employee," she said.
Minnesotans' can only take partial comfort that their premiums rose at less than the national rate.
"The other side of the story in Minnesota is those premiums are buying less," said Schoen. "Deductibles are up sharply during the last six years. In fact, they're more than doubled," she said.
For Minnesotans working at private-sector firms, the average family plan deductible in 2009 was about $2,000.