Health insurance costs skyrocket

Increase at five times the inflation rate

If you get health insurance through your employer, you know the cost is going up—rocketing up, in fact. According to the California Employer Health Benefits Survey, an annual report from the California Health Care Foundation, between 2002 and 2010 health-insurance premiums increased by 134.4 percent, more than five times the 25.4 percent increase in the state’s overall inflation rate (see chart).

In 2010, health-insurance premiums increased 8.1 percent, rising much faster than the overall state inflation rate of 1.8 percent. To keep premiums lower, employers continue to switch to less-costly plans that require employees to shoulder more of the cost, including plans with a deductible of $1,000 or more.