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Average Family Spending 11.5% of Their Incomes on Healthcare

The average employee contribution of healthcare insurance premiums and deductibles paid by employees has risen by nearly 50% during the past decade and now represents 11.5% of a median household’s income, according to data released by The Commonwealth Fund. In six states — Virginia, Louisiana, New Jersey, Nevada, Minnesota, and Maryland — as well as the District of Columbia, families are spending more than $6,000 per year to pay their health insurance premiums.

Higher healthcare costs, combined with families and individuals having to contribute to cover more of their healthcare coverage is causing more financial problems for people across the country.

During the past decade, the growth in premium contributions and deductibles has outpaced the median income growth, although that gap is narrowing, according to the data.

“Healthcare and health insurance coverage are essential to people’s well-being and financial security, and yet employer health coverage is leaving millions of families exposed to high, and potentially unaffordable, costs,” said Commonwealth Fund President David Blumenthal, in a statement.

The number of states in which the total amount of premium contributions and deductibles takes up at least 10% of a household’s income has increased to 42 in 2018, from seven in 2008, according to the data.

Back then, only Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and North Carolina had that distinction. Now, every state except Washington, Utah, Michigan, Maryland, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Alaska, and Hawaii do. That has led to a wide variance in how much people are paying for their healthcare. In Mississippi, for example, people could spend more than 16% of their incomes on premiums and meeting deductibles, compared to an average cost burden of 8.4% in Massachusetts, according to the study.

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