Insurance costs outpace incomes

Family health insurance premiums in Oregon rose four times faster than pay increases.

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As the nation struggles to keep health costs under control, Oregon’s family health insurance premiums doubled since 2000 – a rate four times faster than pay increases.

Between 2000 and 2009, the average annual premium paid by employers and workers for family health coverage climbed from $6,654 to $13,378, a 101 percent jump, reported Families USA, a nonpartisan nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. During the same period, the median earnings of Oregon’s workers rose from $22,401 to $27,743, or about 24 percent.

Nationally, the average annual premium rose five times as much as median worker wages, the report said.

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