The cost of health insurance is rising sharply, according to a new study. The Commonwealth Fund studied health plans provided by private-sector businesses to their employees over the last seven years. In Illinois, the average total cost of a family plan rose from $9,600 to $14,700 – a 53 percent increase – and the employees’ share rose from $2,200 to $3,900, a 78 percent increase.
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Cathy Schoen, the author of the study, says insurance companies are partly to blame for the increases, but it’s mostly health because care costs going up. "Our insurance companies have very high marketing costs, they have billing costs, very high complexity, but underneath this, claims costs are also going up. Hospital costs are up, drug costs are up," she said. The increases in Illinois were higher than the national averages of 50 percent increases for the total cost of a family plan and 68 percent for the employees’ share. Schoen says these costs are a burden on individuals and a burden on businesses that provide health insurance to their workers. The Commonwealth Fund, founded in 1918, is a private foundation that promotes a high-performing health care system.