Health insurance premium cost average climbing faster than earnings

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The average cost of health insurance premiums for working Vermont families has climbed three times faster than their median earnings over the last six years. That’s according to a report from Families USA, a Washington-based advocacy group for health care consumers.

The state-by-state analysis shows family premiums increased an average of 80%, while wages rose by only 24% between 2000 and 2006.

The data did not surprise state officials who say greater utilization of health care services, new drugs, technology and inflation are driving up health care costs.

South Carolina had the highest gap between wages and health care costs, while North Dakota had the lowest.

Vermont was tied with Rhode Island and Missouri in fifth place.

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