In fact, employee contributions to their insurance costs have risen by as much as 175 percent since 2003 in some cases—with workers in the south having the biggest cost burden.
"Slow wage growth means working families in every state are being squeezed by health-care costs," said Sara Collins, the report's co-author and vice president for health-care coverage and access at the Commonwealth Fund.
The report comes after years of slow growth in overall health-care costs on the heels of the 2008 financial meltdown, and as the effects of President Barack Obama's health-care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, are being felt. The ACA contains several provisions designed to slow the rate of health-care cost growth.
The report notes that from 2010 to 2013, on the heels of the ACA's passage, 31 states and the District of Columbia saw a slowdown in the growth of premiums charged for health insurance for workers. Twelve of those states saw at least a three-percentage-point decrease in the rate of premium inflation.
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But from 2003 through 2013, in all states, the price of employer-provider insurance premiums grew quicker than the pay for the workers there.
Because of that, "from an employee and family perspective, there may be little awareness that premium growth has slowed," said Cathy Schoen, one of the authors of the study, which includes an interactive map that highlights the state-based data.
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The effect of that difference in inflation rates is underscored by the fact that in 2003 there were only two states, New Mexico and West Virginia, where average premiums equaled 20 percent or more of the median income in those states.
But by 2013, "average premiums amounted to 20 percent or more of the median income in all but 13 states and the District of Columbia," according to the Commonwealth Fund.
And in seven states as of 2013—Alaska, Arkansas, Kentucky, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and West Virginia—"average premiums were 25 percent to 28 percent of of state median income in 2013," the group said.