How Does Health Insurance Affect The Middle Class?

By Cathy Wilson Posted in Health Insurance News

Costs Are Rising

In the 1960s, the cost of health insurance was approximately one percent of a business’s spending. By 2005, the cost had escalated to nearly ten percent. Experts agree that if something isn’t done to change the rising costs, in about 20 years more than one-quarter of a company’s expenditures will be for health insurance. It’s even worse for small businesses that have fewer employers and therefore do not always qualify for group rates.

Times Have Changed For The Middle Class

Because health insurance is costing businesses more, raises have decreased for many employees. Some companies have put employees on wage freezes, but that hasn’t slowed the increase of health insurance costs. Families USA reports that health care costs have grown five times faster than salaries and that if something doesn’t change, health insurance will soon eat up most of a person’s weekly wages.

Middle class workers are earning the same amount they’ve earned for years with minimal raises but are getting less money because health insurance costs and housing prices have drastically increased. In the current economy, layoffs, wage reductions or salary freezes find middle wage earners taking home less pay than they did five years ago. In addition, companies are contributing less towards health insurance because their revenues have decreased. This puts the burden of health insurance payment on the individual employee.

In fact, skyrocketing numbers of middle class workers are living from paycheck to paycheck; yet do not qualify for any financial assistance from state or federal governments, including state-run insurance programs for those with limited income because their income levels are too high.

To save money, middle class workers are bypassing things like retirement funds and health insurance figuring that a home and groceries are most important. If they become sick, they’re in serious trouble!

More Middle Wage Earners Are Uninsured

According to a White House news release, 25 percent of the entire nation’s uninsured are middle class. This increased from 11.1 million in 2001 to 12.5 million in 2007. Estimates are that the number will reach 18.2 in the next ten years. Most of these are uninsured because their employers cannot afford to offer coverage.

Obama’s Plan For Universal Health Care

In 2009, President Obama announced his plans to launch a single-payer health insurance system. He’s promised that this will not increase taxes on the middle income. Only those with incomes greater than $200,000 will be affected.

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  2. How Many Americans Do Not Have Health Insurance?
  3. What Health Insurance Do Senators And Other Congress People Have?
  4. What Does Disability Insurance For Health Care Entail?
  5. What Does Public Option Health Insurance Coverage Mean?

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