(12/01/2012)
While politicians have demonized Obamacare with its high cost to the national debt, lost has been how American consumers have come up on the short end of a pricey, out of control delivery system that few working Americans can afford, limiting access.

Private health insurance premiums in West Virginia jumped 55 percent over the last seven years and deductibles increased 84 percent during that time.

Also is the dropping of employer supported health benefits, which they can no longer afford.

Employers also are paying a smaller share of premiums, according to a recent report from The Commonwealth Fund, and state residents' out-of-pocket health care costs have increased significantly.

According to the report, West Virginia's premiums are the 14th highest in the nation. Health insurance premiums were, on average, $14,194 per family in 2010. That's up from $9,164 in 2003.

The report also found that state employers pay a smaller share of total insurance costs.

In 2003, West Virginia families paid an average 17 percent of their premiums, about $1,554. Employees' share jumped to 22 percent in 2010, with families paying an average $3,139.

Out-of-pocket health care costs also are on the rise; state health insurance deductible payments increased by 84 percent between 2003 and 2010, from an average $740 to $1,365.

Nationwide, families' health insurance cost an average $13,871 in 2010, with about $3,721 coming out of their paychecks. Deductibles were, on average, about $1,975 per family.

While West Virginia's health care costs are higher than the national average, the state also has one of the lowest median incomes in the country.


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