Since the Affordable Care Act became law, health insurance premiums have risen slower than years past. However, the cost to employees is increasing due to stagnant wages and cost-shifting. “Annual premium increases have far exceeded wage growth for more than a decade,” recent research shows.

From 2003 to 2013, premiums have increased faster than median incomes for employees under the age of 65 in every state, according to the Commonwealth Fund’s latest report. By 2013, average annual premiums — including contributions from employees and employers — totaled at least 20% of median income for three-fourths of the country. In 2003, that was true of only New Mexico and West Virginia.

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