Saturday, February 20, 2010
So How Much Does Health Insurance Really Cost? About $18,000 For A Cincinnati Family
CINCINNATI (TDB) -- It's even more expensive in Cleveland. With all the raging debate about health insurance and reform, The Daily Bellwether figured it was time to dig up some information about premium costs in Ohio. The data is about the individual market -- which includes the self-employed and those under 65 who don't have jobs -- as opposed to people who get health insurance from their employers. The rate sheet above is from Aetna Inc., for Cuyahoga County. A 45-year-old with a family would pay $1,698 per month for Aetna's standard plan -- or $20,376 per year. In Cincinnati and surrounding counties, the price for the same standard plan $1,486 per month -- or $17,832 per year. Other health insurers charge different rates for their standard policies. Humana is $1,345.92 per month ($16,151 per year) for a 45-year-old male with a 40-year-old female spouse and two children in Sidney, Ohio. Kaiser Permanente is at $17,874 in all regions of the state for family coverage when the male is age 45. The Ohio Department of Insurance has links available to individual market health insurance premiums from several carriers. In Ohio, median household income is about $48,000 per year. That makes it impossible for thousands of Ohioans to purchase health insurance if they don't get it through an employer. Poor people, of course, have options. They are eligible for Medicaid. Senior citizens are covered by Medicare. But the middle class -- those who work, or start businesses, and don't have coverage -- clearly are getting squeezed. Elected officials in both political parties at the state and national levels are eligible for health insurance coverage through their jobs. They can afford to dawdle.