Costs jump for health insurance

Health insurance costs are expected to see double-digit increases in the coming year.

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Health insurance costs will spike 10 percent to 23 percent over the next year, taking a big toll on small businesses, among others.

Oregon’s tough economy and high unemployment has pushed more people to drop insurance, driving up costs for those remaining in insurance pools. Some insurers estimate that the number of uninsured has climbed over the last year to about 750,000 to 800,000 in a state of 3.7 million people.

Small business health premiums have more than doubled over the last nine years, cutting profits, wages and jobs said Bill Kramer, a Portland health care management consultant who does work for the Small Business Majority, a national research organization.

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