Cost of Family Health Coverage Doubled in Past Decade

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While health-care reform continues to be debated in the nation's courtrooms and halls of power, Americans continue to shell out more for insurance.

A new study out today by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit research group that tracks employer-sponsored health insurance, shows that the average annual premium for family coverage through an employer topped $15,000 in 2011, an increase of 9 percent over last year.

Many businesses continue to cite the high cost of coverage in decisions not to hire new employees, dragging down an already-sputtering economy. According to the study, the cost of family coverage has doubled since 2001, when premiums averaged $7,061.

The Kaiser survey included big and small companies using employer-sponsored coverage representing 60 percent of all insured Americans of working age. Some smaller businesses said they expected their premiums to moderate because they would be employing younger, healthier employees, making it less likely that the companies would incur high medical claims.

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