Health care costs are down, but more to cut

opinions

September 13, 2012 - 12:00 AM

Tuesday it was announced annual premiums for family health care insurance have risen 4 percent this year. Quite a welcome change from last year’s 9 percent. 

But don’t crack open the champagne.

Premiums averaged $15,745 for family coverage, two major research organizations said. That amounts to $7.44 an hour for 52 40-hour weeks. That’s more than half the average wage in southeast Kansas. While most of health care insurance premiums are paid by employers, employees have been required to pick up more and more of the cost because the burden on business has become so large. Workers now pay about $4,300 of the annual cost — or more than $2 an hour, still a significant item at a time when wages are stagnant.

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