Appleton Post Crescent: Family health premiums hit $15,745

WASHINGTON — Annual premiums for job-based family health insurance went up just 4 percent this year, but that's no comfort with the price tag approaching $16,000 and rising more than twice as fast as wages.

The annual survey released Tuesday by two major research groups served as a glaring reminder that the nation's problem of unaffordable medical care is anything but solved.

Premiums for a family plan are averaging $15,745, with employees paying more than $4,300 of that. And lower wage workers are paying more for skimpier coverage than their counterparts at upscale firms.

Overall, "it's historically a very moderate increase in premiums," said Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which conducted the survey with the Health Research & Educational Trust.

He quickly added: "But even a moderate increase feels really big to workers when their wages are flat or falling." General inflation rose only 2.3 percent, by comparison.

Read the full article.