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Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - 11:58am

Insurance Costs Surge Past Incomes

People’s incomes in Georgia are not keeping pace with the rise in health insurance premiums. Many families are now spending nearly 20-percent of their earnings to stay insured.

Between 2003 and 2009 the average health insurance premium in Georgia jumped 48-percent. That’s according to a new study by the health care advocacy group the Commonwealth Fund.

The reports author Cathy Schoen says the situation is worse in the South where incomes tend to be lower and people sicker.

“They’ll be seeing the doctors more. They’ll be on more medications. They’re more likely to visit an emergency room or be in a hospital and that’s what’s pushing up the cost of care.”

Schoen says insurance also buys you less with deductibles and co-pays rising as well. She says if premiums continue going up at the current rates a family policy could cost 23-thousand dollars by the year 2020.