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New Study Shows Some Good News for Health Care in Maine

by Brenda Peluso

A new study, “SQUEEZED: How Costs for Insuring Families Outpaces Incomes,” produced by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, analyzes family insurance coverage information from 2001 to 2005 across the nation. The study shows that Maine may be doing better than average at helping families gain access to health care coverage.

The study demonstrates that the costs of health care premiums are increasing at quicker pace than incomes throughout the nation. In fact, it shows that national insurance premiums went up by 30 percent while policy holder’s incomes increased only 3 percent. At the same time, the study shows Maine waged far better than the national average. Though its premiums increased at a rate of 27 percent, very close to the national average, its policy holder’s incomes increased at a rate of 9.5 percent. In addition, the amount of uninsured residents under 65 dropped during the four year time frame at a time when most other states saw an increase.

Officials from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation applauded the state for its bi-partisan efforts but also said the report on a whole demonstrates that the current state of our health care is a “national problem that needs a national solution.”

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