MS: Insurance Premiums Soar

In the past seven years in Mississippi, family health care premiums have risen an estimated seven times faster than salaries of Mississippi workers. That’s the conclusion of a report released noon today by Families USA, a major national consumer health organization.

From 2000 to 2007, premiums rose 73.2 percent but median earnings rose only 10.4 percent. Families USA used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The report concludes that a growing number of Mississippi families are uninsured or underinsured because of this disparity between wages and rising insurance costs. In an update of an earlier state-specific study, Families USA says the number of Mississippi’s non-elderly uninsured is about 564,000.

Key findings in the study show that family health premiums provided through the workplace in Mississippi rose from $5,983 to $10,365, or an increase of 73.2 percent.

The median earnings of Mississippi’s workers increased from $20,439 to $22,566, or an increase of 10.4 percent.

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