THE BURDEN OF HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUM INCREASES ON AMERICAN FAMILIES AN UPDATE ON THE REPORT BY THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

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1 THE BURDEN OF HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUM INCREASES ON AMERICAN FAMILIES AN UPDATE ON THE REPORT BY THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

2 INTRODUCTION In September 2009, the Executive Office of the President ( EOP ) 1 released a report entitled, The Burden of Health Insurance Premium Increases on American Families, which addressed concerns about skyrocketing health care premiums and the negative impacts they brought to American families. Six months later, the Affordable Care Act was passed with the promise of bending the cost curve down. This year marks the sixth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act s passage, and the following report serves as an update of the very same data the EOP highlighted in 2009 and used as an impetus for its passage. The reality is that the law has failed to relieve families of the burden created by rising health care premiums. The EOP s 2009 report bemoaned a 5.5 percent increase in premiums between , but the first year after Obamacare was enacted, premiums increased by 9.4 percent from Since that time, the upward trend in prices has continued. From , the average annual family premium for employer-sponsored health insurance increased 4.2 percent to $17, THE REALITY IS THAT THE LAW HAS FAILED TO RELIEVE FAMILIES OF THE BURDEN CREATED BY RISING HEALTH CARE PREMIUMS. Costs have continued to rise at the state level as well. In 2009, when the EOP issued its report, states had seen premiums increase on average by 30 percent between 2004 and But since 2009, health insurance premiums have continued to grow faster than wages in nearly every state, averaging a 28 percent increase from 2009 to 2014, resulting in a greater amount of disposable income being consumed by rising premiums. 4 This report examines trends in health care premiums at the state and national level since Furthermore, it shows that the Affordable Care Act has failed to slow or reverse rising premiums for millions of hardworking Americans and their families. UPDATE ON EOP REPORT THE BURDEN OF HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUM INCREASES ON AMERICAN FAMILIES 1

3 NATIONAL TRENDS The average annual cost of a family s employer-sponsored health insurance policy was $17,545 in 2015, which marks a 4.2 percent increase from the 2014 average of $16,834, while the inflation rate remained low at 0.1 percent (Exhibit 1). In fact, looking back at the same data sources cited by the EOP in 2009, annual premium increases for family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance averaged 4.8 percent for the 5 years prior to Obamacare becoming law ( ) when inflation averaged 2.2 percent, and have averaged 5.0 percent for the 5 years since the law s enactment ( ) while inflation has averaged only 1.7 percent. 5 With health care costs still rising faster than inflation six years after passage of the Affordable Care Act, it is clear that the law is not helping lower the burden of health care expenses for American families. EXHIBIT 1: AVERAGE ANNUAL PREMIUMS FOR EMPLOYER-SPONSORED FAMILY HEALTH INSURANCE $20,000 $15,000 $10,000 $5000 $ SINGLE COVERAGE FAMILY COVERAGE SOURCE: KAISER/HRET SURVEY OF EMPLOYER-SPONSORED HEALTH BENEFITS, UPDATE ON EOP REPORT THE BURDEN OF HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUM INCREASES ON AMERICAN FAMILIES 2

4 STATE PREMIUMS WAGES UNITED STATES 27.85% 7.79% Oklahoma 42.59% 2.88% South Dakota 41.01% 15.77% New Jersey 39.22% 0.72% Alaska 39.00% 9.78% TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE, WAGES HAVE RISEN SLOWER IN THE YEARS SINCE THE 2009 REPORT WAS ISSUED, BUT HEALTH CARE PREMIUM COSTS HAVE NOT SLOWED. West Virginia 38.86% -2.32% California 38.10% 7.75% Delaware 38.10% 10.38% Washington 36.74% -2.19% Kentucky 34.69% 0.29% Ohio 34.57% 8.21% Utah 34.49% 8.36% Indiana 33.80% 8.48% North Dakota 33.27% 21.28% Kansas 32.32% 19.52% Iowa 32.10% 13.98% Montana 32.03% 26.37% Nebraska 31.99% 14.67% Tennessee 31.87% 7.90% Virginia 31.52% 9.35% New Hampshire 31.14% 14.45% South Carolina 29.98% 9.31% Arkansas 28.94% 22.95% Connecticut 28.86% 8.19% Texas 28.33% 13.48% Oregon 27.75% 19.91% Nevada 27.18% -3.03% Georgia 26.71% 14.34% New York 26.45% 8.15% STATE TRENDS As indicated by the national trends, health care premiums have continued to rise faster than wages in the post-obamacare years. From , premium growth has ranged from 13.8 percent in Wyoming to 42.6 percent in Oklahoma. 6 To make matters worse, wages have risen slower in the years since the 2009 report was issued, but health care premium costs have not slowed. From , premiums went up by an average 30.2 percent across the nation while wages went up 12.2 percent on average. Between , premiums went up 27.9 percent while wages went up only 7.8 percent. Premiums have increased faster than wages in 47 states, and they have outpaced wages by double digit increases in 36 states. In 2009, the EOP report that covered this same topic pointed out that families cannot get ahead when health care costs crowd out their ability to spend and save for other necessary expenses. As the following table demonstrates, premium growth has significantly outpaced wage growth across the country after passage of the Affordable Care Act. Hawaii 25.55% 27.99% Illinois 25.42% 3.87% Missouri 25.42% 16.12% Maryland 24.57% 18.66% Minnesota 23.93% 19.89% Idaho 23.91% 14.24% North Carolina 23.86% 11.64% Pennsylvania 23.43% 14.53% Florida 23.26% 1.12% New Mexico 22.71% 7.22% Maine 22.13% 8.86% Arizona 21.24% 7.68% Rhode Island 20.66% 13.56% Massachusetts 20.23% 6.36% Mississippi 19.87% 1.26% Alabama 19.82% 5.75% District of Columbia 19.81% 28.48% Colorado 19.25% 8.96% Michigan 18.60% 13.07% Wisconsin 17.42% 13.36% Louisiana 15.04% -6.66% Vermont 14.43% 16.04% Wyoming 13.83% 6.14% UPDATE ON EOP REPORT THE BURDEN OF HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUM INCREASES ON AMERICAN FAMILIES 3

5 CONCLUSION Based on the data included in this report, it is clear that health insurance premium costs have continued to grow despite the passage of the Affordable Care Act in Furthermore, health care premium costs are rising at a rate comparable to the years directly preceding the election of President Obama and passage of the Affordable Care Act. As costs continue to rise, millions of families will face tough financial choices and make even more sacrifices. For those who have experienced little to no increase in wages, health insurance may simply become unaffordable and the prospect of paying a tax penalty may become another unwanted reality. For those who have enrolled in new health insurance plans on the exchanges, recent premium increases have been even worse. And in 2016, deductibles have gone up for those very same individuals. Worst of all, the outlook for 2017 is no brighter. As University of Minnesota scholar Stephen Parente s research estimates, each type of health care plan on the exchanges can expect to see a premium increase, with the average increase being 7.3 percent for families and 11 percent for individuals. 7 As stated numerous times throughout this report, the difference between the alarming trends discussed by the EOP in 2009 have only gotten worse since that time. Lawmakers owe Americans an honest and sober look at rising health care costs, which requires an acknowledgment that the Affordable Care Act has done nothing to improve the situation. 1. The EOP, which is overseen by the Chief of Staff and consists of many of the President s closest advisors, is intended to provide the President with the support needed to govern Kaiser/HRET Employer Health Benefits 2015 Annual Survey available at 4. State level data is not yet available for The state level analysis looks at years See Exhibit Inflation calculated based on BLS Consumer Price Index See Exhibit 2. Premium data obtained from the AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey- Insurance Component State and Metro Tables, Table II.D.1 for 2009 and meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_stats/quick_tables_search.jsp?component=2&subcomponent=2. Wage data is from Census Historical Income Tables H-8. gov/hhes/www/income/data/historical/household/ 7. Obamacare s Prices Will Keep Surging, Stephen T. Parente, LAWMAKERS OWE AMERICANS AN HONEST AND SOBER LOOK AT RISING HEALTH CARE COSTS UPDATE ON EOP REPORT THE BURDEN OF HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUM INCREASES ON AMERICAN FAMILIES 4

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