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Health Insurance Premiums Increase By At Least 25 Percent In the Area

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Amid the national debate over health care reform, a private foundation reports that employer-sponsored health insurance premiums in the U.S. have doubled over the last decade, and could double again by the year 2020.

The Commonwealth Fund, a foundation that promotes access to quality health care, studied federal data to document what many Americans already knew-- that the cost of health insurance in this country is going up and up.

The foundation reports that the national average for employer sponsored health insurance premiums is just over $12,000 a year. That's 33 percent higher than five years ago. In Maryland, the increase is a whopping 36 percent. In Virginia, it's 30 percent and in DC, 25 percent.

Karen Davis, President of the foundation, warns that if this trend continues, insurance premiums could double in the next 10 years. "We can't afford to have premiums double every decade going up two to four times as fast as income. That's simply unsustainable so," says Davis.

The main reasons for the increasing premiums? According to Davis, the cost of prescription drugs and insurance administration overhead.

Natalie Neumann reports...

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