A new report by a national healthcare advocacy group finds that in the last decade, health insurance premiums for Connecticut workers have risen 7.4 times faster than median earnings.
Families USA looked at increases for family coverage from 2000 to 2009. During that time period, there was a 113 percent change in premiums paid by workers from $1531 a year in 2000 to more than $3200 this year.
Individual coverage didn't fare any better. In 2000, single coverage was $529, in 2009--premiums paid by workers average more than $1000 a year.
Families USA Executive Director, Ron Pollack says the numbers also show wage growth in Connecticut isn't keeping up with rising health insurance costs. He says median earnings in the state only saw a 13 percent increase in the last decade.
"What is so significant about this is that these premiums have risen despite the fact that those premiums are puchasing thinner coverage. Coverage that comes with higher deductibles and co-payments and fewer benefits covered."
Families USA is releasing these state reports in the same month as healthcare reform debates rage in congressional districts around the country. Representative Rosa DeLauro says Congress should not repeat its failure in 1993 to pass healthcare reform.
"We've been listening to people gining up loud, increasingly ugly protests against the bill recently. A lot of claims that have been made are false, some are simply cruel. It's easy to go on the attack but it's harder to make some constructive changes in order to provide some stability and peace of mind."
DeLauro says the public insurance option is being falsely labeled as government controlled socialist medicine. She says reforming healthcare must include a public plan to compete with private insurance. Delauro stresses Americans will still have a choice in what insurance plan is right for them.