Report indicates Massachusetts may have highest health insurance premiums

The Boston Globe (8/22, Lazar) reported, “Massachusetts has the most expensive family health insurance premiums in the country,” according to a report by the Commonwealth Fund. The analysis revealed that “the average family premium for plans offered by employers in Massachusetts was $13,788 in 2008, 40 percent higher than in 2003.” Meanwhile, “premiums nationwide rose an average of 33 percent.” The report also “projects that without significant cost reforms, an annual family premium in Massachusetts will soar to $26,730 by 2020.” But, the report noted that “costs do not eat as big a hole in the typical family budget as in most other states,” because “household income in Massachusetts is much higher than the national average.” The state’s “landmark 2006 law that mandated coverage for nearly everyone,” is “often cited as a model for a national healthcare overhaul,” and “advocates on various sides of the issue said the report underscores the urgency of including cost controls in any large-scale federal or state overhaul.”

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