The cost of health care will surpass the price of a median income household in the United States by 2033 if current trends continue, according to a study published in the March/April issue of Annals of Family Medicine.
Researchers accumulated data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to compare Americans’ incomes and the premiums they’ve paid from 2000 to 2009. The cost of premiums rose by eight percent over that time period compared to just two percent of incomes.
If those trends continue, the average cost of a family premium will be half the income of a median household family, which was $49,800 in 2009, in 2021. Premium costs would exceed the median family’s income by 2033 if trends remain unchanged.
The study’s co-author Dr. Richard Young mentioned 2010 Affordable Care Act slowing the rise of cost and families spending less on health care because of the recession as slowing the trend. However, neither would have a significant impact on stopping the rise of premium costs.
“Even under optimal assumptions about how much the Affordable Care Act will affect the cost of health care, it’s still growing faster than the overall economy, meaning the cost of health related to everything else in the economy is getting worse and worse,” Young said, who is a director of research at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. “If you look at what is being paid by employers for their employees, for an average-wage person, that cost is a huge percentage of their income. And that’s not even getting into the cost of Medicare and Medicaid on the tax side.”
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