Photo: Flickr / Fotos Gov/Ba
Health care costs will exceed the average household income by 2030, according to a recent study published in the Annals of Family Medicine.In 2005, authors Richard A. Young and Jennifer E. DeVoe reported health insurance would equal median household income by 2025.
However, they have since adjusted their estimates to reflect the recession and the passage of the Affordable Care Act—both of which decreased health care spending, they say.
They determined the figures using the average growth rates of insurance premiums (8.0 per cent) and household incomes (2.1 per cent) between 2000 and 2009. 30-six per cent of employers increased the share their employees pay for their insurance premiums—up from 22 per cent in 2009.
If those rates remain the same, Young and DeVoe determined both family health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs would skyrocket—exceeding about $85,000, which is the projected average U.S. household income for 2030.
Young and DeVoe are pretty pessimistic in their report and suggest the Affordable Care Act will do little to help. However, if it does succeed in driving down costs, health insurance won’t exceed income until 2037, they say.
In contrast, a study published in Health Affairs last month found the Affordable Care Act could have better-than-expected results. Researchers equipped 26,000 previously uninsured Richmond, Va. residents with health care plans and tracked them between 2006 and 2007.
In the end, they found the participants cut health care costs by 50 per cent with fewer emergency room visits and more access to preventative health care.
As it stands, about 50 million Americans today are without health insurance.
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