Study: Health Care Costs in La. Rise Faster Than Paychecks

December 29, 2006

The costs of health insurance for a Louisiana family are rising much quicker than paychecks are growing, a new report says.

From 2000 to 2006, the health care premiums for Louisiana’s families grew nearly five times faster than earnings, according to a report issued by Washington-based Families USA, a nonprofit organization that advocates for affordable health care.

In six years, health care premiums grew by 85.4 percent, compared to 19.1 percent for median earnings in the state. The report says fewer people were able to afford health insurance, but also the coverage being offered was thinned, requiring higher deductibles and co-payments.

“Louisianans are paying much larger portions of their paychecks on health care – and health care is becoming less and less affordable,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, citing a trend that is prevalent nationwide.

More than one in every five Louisiana residents is uninsured, according to the report, which is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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