At least this is what David Williams of the Health Business Blog has experienced in paying for his firm’s Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan. “This year’s increase is 13.3 percent, on top of last year’s 26.3 percent increase and an 11 percent increase the year before. Thanks to the magic of compounding it means the premium has gone up about 60 percent in three years. Health insurance has become a serious burden for us.”
With these large increases, Williams sympathizes with Wal-mart’s aversion to providing health care for their workers.
“A worker making the US minimum wage of $6.55 per hour, working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year would make $13,100. By contrast our company’s premium is more than $15,000 per family. And of course that doesn’t count the out-of-pocket payments if someone actually wants to use their insurance.”
With rising gas and food prices, in addition to the near constant pace of insurance price increases, consumers buying power is definitely getting squeezed.