Region's Health Costs at Top

By Moss, Linda | The Record (Bergen County, NJ), September 12, 2012 | Go to article overview

Region's Health Costs at Top


Moss, Linda, The Record (Bergen County, NJ)


The Northeast has the highest premium costs for family health coverage in the nation, 8.6 percent higher than the national average, a study released Tuesday said.

This year the annual premium for employer-sponsored health coverage averaged $17,099 in the Northeast, compared with the national average of $15,745, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust 2012 Employer Health Benefits Survey.

Kaiser divides the country into four regions, with the Northeast comprising nine states, including New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The South had the lowest family premiums at $14,988, according to the survey.

Overall, the price of family health care premiums rose 4 percent in 2012, down from last year's 9 percent increase, according to Kaiser. Workers on average are paying $4,316 toward the cost of their coverage, the survey found.

Maulik Joshi, Kaiser educational trust president and senior vice president for research at the American Hospital Association, characterized the national 4 percent premium gain as a "historic" low.

That increase is on track with what Sunny Corona, a managing member of the consulting firm Custom Safety Services LLC, has seen at her two-employee Fair Lawn firm. Corona said she also hears what companies are paying for health insurance through her clients, companies ranging from global businesses to those with just 20 employees, as well as through her seat on the human resources steering committee of the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey

"I would say that probably 4 percent to 5 percent has been correct for this year," Corona said. …

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