Employees' contributions to their premiums rose 74 percent during the same time period, from an average of $2,283 to $3,962. And deductibles more than doubled, to an average of $1,123 a year.
The report covers the years from 2003 through 2011; it will be a while before we get comprehensive data for health care reform, which takes full effect next year. In the meantime, we've posted the proposed rate filings for Washington on our website.
Among states in the West, Washington is a standout for below-average premiums compared to median household income, the study found. In Oregon, Idaho, California, Montana and Nevada, premiums compared to income were higher. (Click on the map above for more on this.) In pure dollar terms, Idaho is the fifth lowest-cost state in the country, although its average deductibles are significantly higher than Washington's.
The lowest average premiums were in Arkansas; the highest in Massachusetts.
Regardless, "Health insurance is expensive no matter where one lives," the report's writers concluded. "...Across the country, insurance premiums have risen far faster than median (middle) income for the under-65 population.)"
Here are the state average premiums in our region:
- Washington: $5,144 single, $14,559 family
- Oregon: $5,055 single, $14,283 family
- Idaho: $4,553 single, $13,211 family
- California: $5,255 single, $15,837 family